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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 closed the day up 0.4%. By the end of trading, Sempra Energy rose $1.16 (1.4%) to $83.26 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 2,387,279 shares of Sempra Energy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 974,100 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $80.83-$84.70 after having opened the day at $81.84 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $82.10. Other companies within the Utilities sector that increased today were: Western Gas Equity Partners ( WGP), up 5.3%, RGC Resources ( RGCO), up 4.8%, Clean Energy Fuels Corporation ( CLNE), up 4.7% and MDU Resources Group ( MDU), up 4.4%.

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Sempra Energy, through its subsidiaries, operates as an energy services company. The company's San Diego Gas & Electric Company segment is involved in the generation, transmission, and distribution electricity; and sale, distribution, and transportation of natural gas in California. Sempra Energy has a market cap of $20.2 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 23.8, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 15.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 4 analysts that rate Sempra Energy a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 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 solid stock price performance, revenue growth, good cash flow from operations and increase in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

On the negative front, Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras ( EBR.B), down 4.5%, China Hydroelectric Corporation ( CHC), down 3.5%, Dynegy ( DYN), down 2.5% and Calpine ( CPN), down 2.1% , were all laggards within the utilities sector with EQT ( EQT) 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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