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 three major indices are trading lower today with the

Dow Jones Industrial Average

(

^DJI

) trading up 16 points (0.1%) at 16,976 as of Monday, July 28, 2014, 3:55 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,373 issues advancing vs. 1,597 declining with 179 unchanged.

The Utilities sector as a whole closed the day up 0.6% versus the S&P 500, which was unchanged. Top gainers within the Utilities sector included

American DG Energy

(

ADGE

), up 3.9%,

American Midstream Partners

(

AMID

), up 4.4%,

Unitil

(

UTL

), up 1.7%,

Ormat Technologies

(

ORA

), up 1.9% and

Otter Tail

(

OTTR

), up 1.9%.

TheStreet Ratings Group would like to highlight 3 stocks pushing the sector higher today:

Ormat Technologies

(

ORA

) is one of the companies that pushed the Utilities sector higher today. Ormat Technologies was up $0.50 (1.9%) to $26.96 on light volume. Throughout the day, 43,696 shares of Ormat Technologies exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 65,200 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $26.13-$27.12 after having opened the day at $26.46 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $26.46.

Ormat Technologies, Inc. is engaged in the geothermal and recovered energy power business worldwide. The company operates in two segments, Electricity and Product. Ormat Technologies has a market cap of $1.2 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are down 2.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are no analysts who rate Ormat Technologies a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold.

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

TheStreet Ratings rates Ormat Technologies as a

hold

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in stock price during the past year, impressive record of earnings per share growth and compelling growth in net income. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the company has favored debt over equity in the management of its balance sheet.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on ORA go as follows:

  • Compared to where it was a year ago today, the stock is now trading at a higher level, reflecting both the market's overall trend during that period and the fact that the company's earnings growth has been robust. Despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year, there is currently no conclusive evidence that warrants the purchase or sale of this stock.
  • ORMAT TECHNOLOGIES INC reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. This trend suggests that the performance of the business is improving. During the past fiscal year, ORMAT TECHNOLOGIES INC turned its bottom line around by earning $0.80 versus -$4.76 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.30 versus $0.80).
  • The company's current return on equity greatly increased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of significant strength within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Independent Power Producers & Energy Traders industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, ORMAT TECHNOLOGIES INC has outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500.
  • Even though the current debt-to-equity ratio is 1.38, it is still below the industry average, suggesting that this level of debt is acceptable within the Independent Power Producers & Energy Traders industry. Regardless of the somewhat mixed results with the debt-to-equity ratio, the company's quick ratio of 0.98 is weak.

You can view the full analysis from the report here:

Ormat Technologies 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.

At the close,

Unitil

(

UTL

) was up $0.54 (1.7%) to $32.82 on light volume. Throughout the day, 39,105 shares of Unitil exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 52,900 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $32.23-$32.87 after having opened the day at $32.23 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $32.28.

Unitil Corporation, a public utility holding company, is engaged in the distribution of electricity and natural gas in the United States. The company operates in four segments: Utility Gas Operations, Utility Electric Operations, Non-Regulated, and Other. Unitil has a market cap of $451.8 million and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 5.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there is 1 analyst who rates Unitil a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

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

TheStreet Ratings rates

Unitil

as a

buy

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, revenue growth, notable return on equity and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on UTL go as follows:

  • UNITIL CORP reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, UNITIL CORP increased its bottom line by earning $1.56 versus $1.49 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.76 versus $1.56).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Electric Utilities industry. The net income increased by 1200.0% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$0.10 million to $1.10 million.
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 10.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 10.4%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • 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. Compared to other companies in the Electric Utilities industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, UNITIL CORP has outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $34.90 million or 18.30% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow, UNITIL CORP's average is still marginally south of the industry average growth rate of 18.54%.

You can view the full analysis from the report here:

Unitil 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.

American Midstream Partners

(

AMID

) was another company that pushed the Utilities sector higher today. American Midstream Partners was up $1.29 (4.4%) to $30.66 on light volume. Throughout the day, 28,332 shares of American Midstream Partners exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 42,800 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $29.10-$30.88 after having opened the day at $29.30 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $29.37.

American Midstream Partners, LP is engaged in gathering, treating, processing, and transporting natural gas primarily in the Gulf Coast and Southeast regions of the United States. American Midstream Partners has a market cap of $330.1 million and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 8.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 2 analysts who rate American Midstream Partners a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates American Midstream Partners as a

sell

. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its disappointing return on equity and poor profit margins.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on AMID go as follows:

  • The company's current return on equity has slightly decreased from the same quarter one year prior. This implies a minor weakness in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, AMERICAN MIDSTREAM PRTNRS LP's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for AMERICAN MIDSTREAM PRTNRS LP is currently extremely low, coming in at 13.34%. Regardless of AMID's low profit margin, it has managed to increase from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 0.52% trails the industry average.
  • AMERICAN MIDSTREAM PRTNRS LP has improved earnings per share by 20.5% 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, AMERICAN MIDSTREAM PRTNRS LP reported poor results of -$6.84 versus -$0.73 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings (-$0.53 versus -$6.84).
  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.45, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels. Even though the company has a strong debt-to-equity ratio, the quick ratio of 0.26 is very weak and demonstrates a lack of ability to pay short-term obligations.
  • Investors have driven up the company's shares by 50.86% over the past year, a rise that has exceeded that of the S&P 500 Index. Regarding the future course of this stock, we feel that the risks involved in investing in AMID do not compensate for any future upside potential, despite the fact that it has seen nice gains over the past 12 months.

You can view the full analysis from the report here:

American Midstream Partners 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.

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.