Baird Upgrades Nicor to 'Outperform'

Analyst David Parker says a pullback in average utility prices will boost near-term returns for key energy suppliers

Baird upgraded Nicor (GAS )to outperform from neutral.

Analyst David Parker says with a pullback in average utility prices, signs of price stabilization, and selective support, he now expects average to above-average total returns for utilities in the near term.

Parker says he expects a recovery of the sector will roll from lower-risk to higher-risk investments. As a result, he recommends that investors seeking stocks with an attractive, near-term performance including a good yield should limit their investments to companies that he classifies as "distribution" companies. As a result, he upgraded Nicor, Hawaiian Electric, Progress Energy, Vectren, and Wisconsin Energy to outperform from neutral.

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