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Northeast Utilities (NU) Reaches New Lifetime High Today

Stocks in this article: NU

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.

Trade-Ideas LLC identified Northeast Utilities ( NU) as a new lifetime high candidate. In addition to specific proprietary factors, Trade-Ideas identified Northeast Utilities as such a stock due to the following factors:

  • NU has an average dollar-volume (as measured by average daily share volume multiplied by share price) of $69.1 million.
  • NU has traded 2,124 shares today.
  • NU is trading at a new lifetime high.

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More details on NU:

Northeast Utilities, a public utility company, through its subsidiaries, is engaged in the energy delivery business. The company is involved in generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity; and distribution of natural gas. The stock currently has a dividend yield of 3.5%. NU has a PE ratio of 18.2. Currently there are 9 analysts that rate Northeast Utilities a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

The average volume for Northeast Utilities has been 1.6 million shares per day over the past 30 days. Northeast Utilities has a market cap of $14.3 billion and is part of the utilities sector and utilities industry. The stock has a beta of 0.36 and a short float of 1.8% with 3.71 days to cover. Shares are up 7.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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TheStreetRatings.com Analysis:

TheStreet Quant Ratings rates Northeast Utilities as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, growth in earnings per share, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, good cash flow from operations and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • NU's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 3.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 5.6%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • NORTHEAST UTILITIES's earnings per share improvement from the most recent quarter was slightly positive. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past year. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, NORTHEAST UTILITIES increased its bottom line by earning $2.48 versus $1.92 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.70 versus $2.48).
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $486.57 million or 33.22% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow, NORTHEAST UTILITIES's average is still marginally south of the industry average growth rate of 42.87%.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is somewhat low, currently at 0.96, and is less than that of the industry average, implying that there has been a relatively successful effort in the management of debt levels. Even though the company has a strong debt-to-equity ratio, the quick ratio of 0.25 is very weak and demonstrates a lack of ability to pay short-term obligations.
  • The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. When compared to other companies in the Electric Utilities industry and the overall market, NORTHEAST UTILITIES's return on equity is below that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.

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