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Sempra Energy (SRE): 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.

Sempra Energy (SRE) 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, Sempra Energy rose $1.20 (1.7%) to $71.50 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 1.7 million shares of Sempra Energy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.1 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $70.26-$71.57 after having opened the day at $70.43 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $70.30. Other companies within the Utilities sector that increased today were: Energy Company of Minas Gerais (CIG), up 8.5%, American DG Energy (ADGE), up 8.4%, Transportadora de Gas del Sur (TGS), up 5.7%, and U.S. Geothermal (HTM), up 3.9%.

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Sempra Energy, through its subsidiaries, operates as an energy services company. Sempra Energy has a market cap of $16.5 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 27.7, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 24.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are four analysts that rate Sempra Energy a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and three rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Sempra Energy as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its good cash flow from operations, solid stock price performance and reasonable valuation levels. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

On the negative front, GreenHunter Energy (GRH), down 5.6%, Empresa Distribuidora y Comercializadora No (EDN), down 5%, China Hydroelectric Corporation (CHC), down 2.5%, and Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras (EBR), down 2.4%, were all laggards within the utilities sector with FirstEnergy (FE) being today's utilities sector laggard.

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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