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The $25 Special is *Duke Energy (DUK). (You must log-in as a subscriber to get this price. The non-subscirber reduced-price is $50.)

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Here is a capsule review of our featured stock, provided by Mario Medina.

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Company Information:

Founded in 1916 and headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, Duke Energy has grown from a local electric utility into an international energy provider, which operates through three segments: Electric Utilities and Infrastructure, Gas Utilities and Infrastructure, and Commercial Renewables. DUK operates in the vibrant Southeastern United States, where population growth continues to exceed national averages, and the company has shown willingness to not only grow through major acquisitions, but to also restructure its collection of business units to achieve maximum efficiency. Duke Energy is considered a defensive stock, since it provides a constant dividend and stable earnings, regardless of the state of the overall stock market, because of the growing demand for its products. As a defensive stock, it tends to remain stable during the various phases of the business cycle, and tends to perform better than the broader market during recessions.

Its current total market capitalization of $64.6 billion makes DUK a large capitalization stock (a large-cap stock has a market capitalization value of more than $10 billion) with a long history of consistent earnings growth and dividend payments. It is considered a solid business with a durable competitive advantage over its rivals, which enjoys a solid management and corporate culture. According to Yahoo! Finance, consensus estimates call for the company to earn about $5.02 per share this year, up from $4.72 per share last year, and to go to about $5.15 per share next year. DUK has paid dividends to investors since 1926, and has increased its payments for twelve consecutive years. During the past five years it has increased its dividends at an average rate of 3.52%, with its quarterly payment of 95 cents currently providing a yield of 4.27%.

The value of dividends reinvestment: A hypothetical investment in DUK has grown cumulatively (including dividends reinvested) 6,024.20% during the past forty years. The same investment has grown only 1,050.71% during the same period of time, excluding dividends. The stock exhibits a Dividend Payout Ratio (DPR is the proportion of earnings paid out as dividends to shareholders) of 77.8%, which means the company is paying out 77.8% of all its net income in dividends, and is retaining some percentage of its earnings to reinvest or grow the business. Its current Price to Earnings ratio (P/E --a measure of valuation) of 18.49 is 11% below the US Market Index, and the forward P/E ratio is 17.1. Its Price to Book ratio of 1.45 is 52.7% below the index, and its Price to Cash Flow of 8.98 is 33.7% below the index.

Technically (from the chart’s perspective) DUK also looks attractive, trading 9.4% below its 52 weeks high, while it is forming a price consolidation pattern between $97 and $86 approximately, in which $86 is acting as a strong technical support level. The index funds Vanguard Total Stock Market Index and Vanguard 500 Index are the biggest shareholders of DUK, holding 2.8% and 2.0% of its shares respectively. The stock is also one of the 63 holdings of the mutual fund managed by Moneypaper Advisors, the MP 63 Fund (DRIPX). Duke’s main competitors are American Electric Power Co. Inc. (AEP) and Dominion Energy Inc. (D).

Volatility and risks: DUK’s five-year Beta (a measure of the volatility, or systematic risk in comparison to the market as a whole as evidenced by the S&P 500® Index) is only 0.07, so the stock is 93% less volatile than the Market. Best and worst years during the past 40 years: Its best year was 2000, in which DUK returned, excluding dividends, 70.07%. On the flip side, its worst year was 2002, when the stock declined 50.23%, excluding dividends. DUK’s Dividend Reinvestment Plan charges no fees for cash investing, dividend reinvestment, safekeeping, automatic investment or termination of the plan. With the stock being fundamental and technically attractive, this company is an appropriate holding for investors who wish to build a holding over the long term.

Disclosure: Mario Medina has no position in Duke Energy (DUK), and has no plans to initiate any position in the immediate future. However, the author is the co-manager of the MP 63 Fund (DRIPX), which does hold a position in the company. The author wrote the article himself and it expresses his own opinions. The author has no business relationship with DUK and this article is not intended as a recommendation to invest as the information published does not take into account any subscriber's personal finances, goals or risk tolerance. Accordingly, you should be aware of all the risks associated with any financial investment and should consult an independent financial advisor for any personal investment advice.

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Mario Medina Personal and Professional background:

Born in Cuba and graduated in Architecture from the University of Havana, Mario Medina is editor and writer of the weekly online investment newsletter El Boletín, and senior analyst for Julie Stav, Inc. Through seminars and conferences live and online, DVDs, investment e-books, articles in his blog and financial columns (on, and, videos and Podcasts, Mario teaches people inside and outside the United States. The point that differentiates Mario in his teachings, is the simplicity and softness of the language, teaching beginners, the same way he wanted to be educated when starting in the world of personal finances and investments.

Mario provides investment guidance in financial segments of Hispanic television and radio, and has had his own radio shows on those topics at Univision Radio Network, also participating in Tu Dinero, Julie Stav’s financial shows and Podcast series ( and

Analyzing the status of the market and its indexes, examining leading companies, sectors and industries, and evaluating the performance of Julie Stav’s Platinum List of Companies, his popular online Daily Market Report allows thousands of people from across the country to follow the situation of the financial world and get the essential information they need to make the best decisions about their own investments.

Today, Mario provides independent fundamental and technical analysis for the mutual fund MoneyPaper 63 (DRIPX), which is the only fund that focuses solely in companies that offer small investors Dividend Re-investment Plans. He is also a regular contributor to

Today, those who read the articles written by Mario Medina, or those who daily follow his Market Report, listen to his segments, watch his videos, or attend his seminars, could not imagine that a little over a decade ago its author knew nothing about investments or the stock market. It has been a long, arduous road for the young man newly arrived to the US with empty pockets, a suitcase full of dreams, and whose first savings came from collecting empty soda cans and recycling scrap yard. After discovering the world of finance through books and radio programs, and after years of study and sacrifice, Mario Medina now advises thousands of Hispanics on how and when to buy or sell in the stock market in order to obtain the best returns and minimize their losses.

What was the secret that allowed Mario to develop those early, small investments? "I think the key is to save and invest on a regular basis, with clearly defined long-term, diversified goals," he says. "To do so, each person must determine his o her risk tolerance level ... I do not feel comfortable risking as much as other people, and in turn many risk more than me. It is essential to know how far one can get without trying to beat the stock market every day.”

Through his regular segments, articles and analysis, Mario wants to offer everyone his successful strategies so that anyone can make the most of their work, their savings and their investments, and realize their dreams of economic prosperity. Mario Medina’s own dream is to help those interested in managing their money by knowing the risks and investing directly in the very best, teaching them the necessary steps to succeed in the stock market and other investments, participating in it directly and without brokers, so they can manage their money more efficiently and get better returns without paying more fees.

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