Ask 100 investors why they own utilities stocks, and I’ll bet the overwhelming majority will have the same answer: “For the dividend.” It would not surprise me if there are scores of investors who would dump their utilities in a heartbeat if rates in the fixed income universe were higher. I even know a few such investors. With that said, should anyone be surprised that when Exelon (EXC) said the following during its Q3 2012 earnings conference call, the stock began a nosedive that took it down 22.91% from its November 1 high to its November 23 low?
“Our #1 priority is to remain investment grade across all our registrants. Our investment grade rating is fundamental to the business, given our sizable collateral requirements, our counterparty and customer relationships and our significant nuclear capital expenditure.
In close proximity of importance, our next financial priority is returning value to