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Worst Sector in 2012: Utilities

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) - Utilities, consumer defensive and communication services are the worst-performing sectors so far this year, according to Morningstar.

Utilities has a total return year-to-date of 3.74%. The consumer defensive sector has a total return of 4.75% so far this year and communication services' total return is 5.37%.

Some of the worst performers in the utilities sector include: Exelon (EXC - Get Report), Constellation Energy (CEG) and American Electric Power (AEP - Get Report).


This stock is down 8.7% year-to-date.

Shares of Exelon reached a 52-week low on Jan. 25 of $38.57. The stock's 52-week high of $45.45 was set on Nov. 9.

Exelon has an estimated price-to-earnings ratio for next year of 13.58; the average for conventional electricity companies is 20.17. For comparison, both Southern (SO) and Dominion Resources (D) have higher forward P/Es of 15.68 and 14.7, respectively.

Thirteen of the 20 analysts who cover Exelon rated it hold; seven analysts gave the stock a buy rating.

TheStreet Ratings gives Exelon a C+ grade and hold rating.

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