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If there's one sector you can count on in these markets, it's utilities. Though these stocks may not be extremely sexy, they're definitely dependable.

With all the volatility in the markets these days, it just so happens that investors are looking for a rock, particularly a rock like utilities that pay decent dividend yields. Given this demand, Capital Power Corp. has been able to finance three times this year, the latest of which came Wednesday in the form of another $200-million common share offering.

Unlike the previous issues in March and June, however, the latest is a secondary out of EPCOR. Oddly enough, when Capital Power came to market with its secondary offering last December, the size and price were almost the exact same. The latest issue was sold at $24.40 per share, a 2.8-per-cent discount, and if the over-allotment option is sold, EPCOR will reduce its ownership to 40 per cent of Capital Power.

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To get a sense of just how steady utilities have been, big names like Capital Power, TransAlta Corp. and Emera Inc. are all up 3 to 5 per cent on the year, and they all yield about 4 or 5 per cent. (They also haven't had many wild swings.) The S&P/TSX is down 9 per cent in 2011.

Capital Power was created in 2009 when EPCOR sold off its power generation assets. After the time of the IPO, EPCOR held 72 per cent of Capital Power's common shares.

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About the Author
Reporter and Streetwise columnist

Tim Kiladze is a business reporter with The Globe and Mail. Before crossing over to journalism, he worked in equity capital markets at National Bank Financial and in fixed-income sales and trading at RBC Dominion Securities. Tim graduated from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism and also earned a Bachelor in Commerce in finance from McGill University. More

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