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NRG Energy Inc (NRG): 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.

NRG Energy ( NRG) 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, NRG Energy rose 33 cents (1.3%) to $25.21 on light volume. Throughout the day, 3.1 million shares of NRG Energy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.6 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $24.83-$25.32 after having opened the day at $24.88 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $24.88. Other companies within the Utilities sector that increased today were: Clean Energy Fuels Corporation ( CLNE), up 5.6%, Atlantic Power Corporation ( AT), up 2.2%, PAA Natural Gas Storage L.P ( PNG), up 1.9%, and TransAlta Corporation ( TAC), up 1.5%.

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NRG Energy, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates as an integrated wholesale power generation and retail electricity company. The company engages in the ownership, development, construction, expansion, modification, refurbishment, and operation of power generation facilities. NRG Energy has a market cap of $7.98 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 10.5, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 8.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are six analysts that rate NRG Energy a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and one rates it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates NRG Energy as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, compelling growth in net income and attractive valuation levels. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that we feel that the company's cash flow from its operations has been weak overall.

On the negative front, U.S. Geothermal ( HTM), down 5.6%, Ocean Power Technologies ( OPTT), down 5.2%, Transportadora de Gas del Sur ( TGS), down 3.5%, and Middlesex Water Company ( MSEX), down 2.1%, were all laggards within the utilities sector with PPL ( PPL) 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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