Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Utilities and pipelines good during downturns and good during recoveries (BRK.A; TRP)

Tell it to Warren Buffett.* From the Financial Post:

Utility and pipeline stocks not only outperform during economic downturns but stock market recoveries as well, so investors should consider hedging their bets and play the recovery without risking performance.

The group typically leads a stock market rally by one or two months and the sees a similar jump as the market during the early stages of a recovery, Canaccord Adams analyst Bob Hastings told clients. This recovery could last several months or more than a year depending on the downturn....

..."While not the best group in terms of absolute performance, it does as well as the overall market with significantly less risk" as many investors switch from cash to conservative investments, he said. And if there is no rebound, the group outperforms....MORE

*Berkshire Hathaway owns MidAmerican Energy Holdings which owns something like 17,000 miles of pipeline. In one of those instances where Enron wrote the playbook, MidAm bought the bulk of the pipeline from Dynegy which purchased it from ENE.
Here's the EIA's pipeline map:
U.S. Natural Gas Pipeline Network Map of the United States Natural Gas Pipeline Network
click to enlarge