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3 Stocks Pushing The Utilities Sector Lower

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.

The Utilities sector as a whole closed the day down 1.3% versus the S&P 500, which was unchanged. Laggards within the Utilities sector included American DG Energy ( ADGE), down 12.8%, GreenHunter Resources ( GRH), down 4.7%, U S Geothermal ( HTM), down 1.6%, York Water ( YORW), down 1.6% and Ocean Power Technologies ( OPTT), down 3.5%.

TheStreet Ratings Group would like to highlight 3 stocks that pushed the sector lower today:

York Water ( YORW) is one of the companies that pushed the Utilities sector lower today. York Water was down $0.33 (1.6%) to $20.70 on light volume. Throughout the day, 8,588 shares of York Water exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 30,700 shares. The stock ranged in price between $20.65-$21.00 after having opened the day at $20.91 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $21.03.

The York Water Company is engaged in impounding, purifying, and distributing drinking water. It operates two wastewater collection and treatment systems; and has two reservoirs comprising Lake Williams and Lake Redman, which together hold up to approximately 2.2 billion gallons of water. York Water has a market cap of $269.5 million and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 0.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there is 1 analyst who rates York Water a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

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TheStreet Ratings rates York Water as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, expanding profit margins and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on YORW go as follows:

  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 10.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 5.0%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is somewhat low, currently at 0.82, and is less than that of the industry average, implying that there has been a relatively successful effort in the management of debt levels. Along with the favorable debt-to-equity ratio, the company maintains an adequate quick ratio of 1.43, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • YORK WATER CO's earnings per share declined by 5.9% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, YORK WATER CO increased its bottom line by earning $0.75 versus $0.72 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.89 versus $0.75).
  • The gross profit margin for YORK WATER CO is currently very high, coming in at 79.34%. Regardless of YORW's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, YORW's net profit margin of 19.96% compares favorably to the industry average.
  • Compared to where it was 12 months ago, the stock is up, but it has so far lagged the appreciation in the S&P 500. Looking ahead, the stock's rise over the last year has already helped drive it to a level which is relatively expensive compared to the rest of its industry. We feel, however, that the other strengths this company displays justify these higher price levels.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: York Water Ratings Report

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

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