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No. of Recommendations: 2
Piedmont Natural Gas (NYSE: PNY) had a fairly boring earnings release – just the type of stuff we like to see from a natural gas utility. After adjusting for the sale of one-half of Piedmont’s 30% interest in SouthStar Energy Services in the first quarter of last year, profits at Piedmont grew by 1% . Piedmont increased its customer count with over 2800 additions , and was able to lower operations and maintenance expenses by 2% , boosting operating margins by about 1.4 percentage points . Best of all, Piedmont raised its dividend for the thirty-third consecutive year, this time by 3.6%. Piedmont is a Buy.

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