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Consolidated Edison Inc. (ED): Today's Featured Utilities Laggard

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

Consolidated Edison (ED) pushed the Utilities sector lower today making it today's featured Utilities laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.6%. By the end of trading, Consolidated Edison fell $0.70 (-1.2%) to $56.24 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 3,123,686 shares of Consolidated Edison exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2,053,300 shares. The stock ranged in price between $56.05-$56.74 after having opened the day at $56.69 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $56.94. Other companies within the Utilities sector that declined today were: Gas Natural (EGAS), down 4.1%, Companhia De Saneamento Basico Do Estado De (SBS), down 3.4% and GreenHunter Resources (GRH), down 3.4%.

Consolidated Edison, Inc., through its subsidiaries, engages in regulated electric, gas, and steam delivery businesses. Consolidated Edison has a market cap of $16.9 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 16.5, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 2.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there is 1 analyst that rates Consolidated Edison a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 7 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Consolidated Edison as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, attractive valuation levels, increase in net income, growth in earnings per share and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

On the positive front, Empresa Distribuidora y Comercializadora No (EDN), up 8.5%, Consolidated Water Company (CWCO), up 4.0%, York Water Company (YORW), up 3.5% and Transportadora de Gas del Sur (TGS), up 3.4% , were all gainers within the utilities sector with Duke Energy Corporation (DUK) being today's featured utilities sector leader.

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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