Gordon Pape, editor of Internet Wealth Builder, selected Fortis Inc. (FTS) as his favorite conservative investment idea for 2019. The stock has since risen 57%. Here's his latest update on the utility stock.

Fortis Inc. (FTS) is a Canadian-based electricity and gas producer & distributor that serves more than three million customers in Canada, the U.S., and the Caribbean.

Utility stocks aren’t normally big movers, but Fortis was the beneficiary of two developments in the first half of the year.

The first was external — the Federal Reserve’s switch to a more dovish tone, setting the stage for interest rate cuts later this year. Utilities are notoriously interest sensitive. Rising rates put pressure on their share price while falling rates give them a boost.

The second was internal — the company reported adjusted first-quarter net earnings of $316 million ($0.74 per share, figures in Canadian dollars) compared to $297 million ($0.70 per share) for the same period in 2018. Revenue increased almost 11% year over year to just over $2.4 billion.

That combination pushed up the share price by 13.6% in the first half of the year. The stock, which yields 3.5%, continues to be a buy for safe haven investors.

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