Fortis Inc. added to list June 16, 2017

Fortis Inc. is added to our list and rated Buy at Canadian $45.56 or U.S. $34.32. Headquartered in Newfoundland, Fortis has grown by acquisition into a huge North American utility company. It sticks almost 100% to regulated assets. It has basically benefited from the fact that utility regulators have, in my opinion, been overly generous in maintaining regulated returns close to 10% in most jurisdictions for years mostly ignoring the massive decline in interest rates. (Basically, the regulators were bamboozled by the utilities arguing for high returns.) Fortis pays large premiums to acquire regulated assets because they know that the regulated returns are generous. Investors cannot immediately benefit from the high regulated returns because we too must pay big premiums to the regulated value upon which the return is paid. (See comments on book value and goodwill within the report) But over the years as the company grows investors benefit as the company invests in growth of its utilites and does so without paying a premium. Fortis is another example of a growth-by-acquisition strategy that has worked out very well.