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Tickers in this Article: CSM, POR, NWE, SPY, XLU
Some stocks get no respect. Others find the entire panoply of institutional investors tripping over themselves to get a piece of action. And make no mistake, when better than 90% of your company's float is owned by the pros, you're doing something right: superior management and a long and impressive track record of returns, for starters. There's also a good chance that the stock is conservative in nature, and it shouldn't come as any surprise that many such stocks hail from the utilities sector.

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Here were look at three institutionally popular issues, each with impressive fundamentals and an equally impressive cast of owners.

The Pros Love Michigan's Power
CMS Energy Corporation (NYSE:CMS) is a diversified electric and gas utility operating in Michigan. For the last year the company's shares are up over 21%, which compares favorably with the Utilities SPDR (NYSE:XLU), which is up only 2.5% for the last 12 months and the S&P 500 (as represented by the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSE:SPY)), which gained less than 14% over the same period.

A full 95% of the company's float is in the hands of institutional investors, who likely enjoy the current 4% dividend and P/E ratio of 16.4.

CMS is also owned by two investment superstars, George Soros and David Dreman, who both purchased their holdings in the last six months and hold $560,000 and $250,000 worth of shares respectively.

Price to book on CMS is 1.16, while price to sales is a mere 0.56.

Wild West Growth
NorthWestern Corporation (NYSE:NWE) is also well-loved by the institutional set, who hold a giant 94.14% of the firm's outstanding shares. NWE operates an electric and natural gas distribution business in Nebraska, South Dakota and Montana. The shares trade with a P/E of 11.93 and offer a current dividend yield of 5.23%.

Shares of NWE are up over 14% on the year.

Portland General Electric (NYSE:POR) trades with a P/E of 15 and has an attractive 5.7% dividend yield. Institutional ownership comes in at 93.5%.

Portland GE serves a customer base of more than 800,000 throughout the state of Oregon and trades at less than its breakup value, and with a P/B of just 0.88.

Both Kenneth Fisher and George Soros added POR shares to their portfolios in the first quarter of 2010.

The Wrap
Solid earnings and steady cash flow, dividends and reasonable multiples. That, in a nutshell, is what the professional investor craves and what these popular issues are likely to deliver. (These big players can both create and destroy value for shareholders. For further reading, check out The Pros And Cons Of Institutional Ownership.)

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