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Ameren Corp (AEE): Today's Featured Utilities Winner

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

Ameren ( AEE) pushed the Utilities sector higher today making it today's featured utilities winner. The sector as a whole was unchanged today. By the end of trading, Ameren rose 35 cents (1.1%) to $32.85 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 2.3 million shares of Ameren exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.5 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $32.62-$32.87 after having opened the day at $32.62 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $32.50. Other companies within the Utilities sector that increased today were: Transportadora de Gas del Sur ( TGS), up 2.6%, Basic Sanitation Company of the State of Sa ( SBS), up 2%, Pure Cycle Corporation ( PCYO), up 1.8%, and GenOn Energy ( GEN), up 1.6%.

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Ameren Corporation operates as a public utility holding company in Missouri and Illinois, the United States. Ameren has a market cap of $7.93 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 36.3, below the average utilities industry P/E ratio of 66.7 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 1.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are no analysts that rate Ameren a buy, three analysts rate it a sell, and seven rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Ameren as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, good cash flow from operations and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the utilities sector could consider Utilities Select Sector SPDR ( XLU) while those bearish on the utilities sector could consider ProShares UltraShort Utilities ( SDP).

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