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Some Utility Stocks Rise

November 10, 1985

In "Utility Stocks: Hard Lesson in Complacency" (Oct. 13) John F. Lawrence makes some good points about need for care in selecting utility stocks for long-term investments.

There have been some disasters particularly in the area of nuclear energy. The Shoreham plant of Long Island Lighting Co. is, among other things, an example of private enterprise at its very nadir.

Even if the plant is eventually completed, an evacuation plan for the residents of Long Island that suits the politicians has not been provided. Perhaps each leasehold should be provided with a row boat. The future for Long Island Lighting Co. is not bright.

However, all is not gloom and disaster. Thus, in 1975 Idaho Power shares were about $15. In 1985, the price went to about $40 when a 2-for-1 split was voted.

I own Illinois Gas & Electric, which is currently at $43. In 1975, it was about $18. Over the years it has paid a reasonable dividend.

In that period, Otter Tail Power has gone from about $15 to $31 with a good dividend.

Of course, as far as stock speculation is concerned, utilities are by their nature "stodgy."



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