The Utilities sector as a whole closed the day down 1.2% versus the S&P 500, which was down 1.3%. Laggards within the Utilities sector included

American DG Energy

(

ADGE

), down 4.9%,

Sky Solar Holdings

(

SKYS

), down 7.3%,

U S Geothermal

(

HTM

), down 2.4%,

Gas Natural

(

EGAS

), down 1.5% and

Transportadora de Gas del Sur

(

TGS

), down 3.7%.

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

Gas Natural

(

EGAS

) is one of the companies that pushed the Utilities sector lower today. Gas Natural was down $0.14 (1.5%) to $9.06 on average volume. Throughout the day, 26,153 shares of Gas Natural exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 26,600 shares. The stock ranged in price between $9.06-$9.20 after having opened the day at $9.10 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $9.20.

Gas Natural Inc. distributes and sells natural gas to residential, commercial, and industrial customers. The company operates through Natural Gas and Marketing & Production segments. Gas Natural has a market cap of $96.6 million and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are down 16.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there is 1 analyst who rates Gas Natural a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

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TheStreet Ratings rates

Gas Natural

as a

hold

. Among the primary strengths of the company is its solid financial position based on a variety of debt and liquidity measures that we have evaluated. At the same time, however, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, disappointing return on equity and weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on EGAS go as follows:

  • The debt-to-equity ratio is somewhat low, currently at 0.67, 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 0.19 is very weak and demonstrates a lack of ability to pay short-term obligations.
  • EGAS, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 19.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 21.7%. The declining revenue appears to have seeped down to the company's bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • The change in net income from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500 and greatly outperformed compared to the Gas Utilities industry average. The net income has decreased by 5.0% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, dropping from -$1.43 million to -$1.50 million.
  • 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 Gas Utilities industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, GAS NATURAL INC underperformed against that of the industry average and is significantly less than that of the S&P 500.
  • Reflecting the weaknesses we have cited, including the decline in the company's earnings per share, EGAS has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 18.94% from its price level of one year ago. Looking ahead, other than the push or pull of the broad market, we do not see anything in the company's numbers that may help reverse the decline experienced over the past 12 months. Despite the past decline, the stock is still selling for more than most others in its industry.

You can view the full analysis from the report here:

Gas Natural Ratings Report

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At the close,

U S Geothermal

(

HTM

) was down $0.02 (2.4%) to $0.61 on light volume. Throughout the day, 275,684 shares of U S Geothermal exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 388,700 shares. The stock ranged in price between $0.60-$0.63 after having opened the day at $0.62 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $0.62.

U.S. Geothermal, Inc. constructs, manages, and operates power plants that utilize geothermal resources in the Western United States. U S Geothermal has a market cap of $66.8 million and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 35.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are no analysts who rate U S Geothermal a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 2 rate it a hold.

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TheStreet Ratings rates

U S Geothermal

as a

hold

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its attractive valuation levels, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and notable return on equity. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including unimpressive growth in net income, weak operating cash flow and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on HTM go as follows:

  • Even though the current debt-to-equity ratio is 1.13, it is still below the industry average, suggesting that this level of debt is acceptable within the Independent Power Producers & Energy Traders industry. Even though the debt-to-equity ratio shows mixed results, the company's quick ratio of 3.54 is very high and demonstrates very strong liquidity.
  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Independent Power Producers & Energy Traders industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 45.2% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $1.34 million to $0.73 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has declined marginally to $4.93 million or 1.88% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing the cash generation rate to the industry average, the firm's growth is significantly lower.

You can view the full analysis from the report here:

U S Geothermal Ratings Report

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Sky Solar Holdings

(

SKYS

) was another company that pushed the Utilities sector lower today. Sky Solar Holdings was down $0.57 (7.3%) to $7.23 on light volume. Throughout the day, 6,524 shares of Sky Solar Holdings exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 16,800 shares. The stock ranged in price between $7.23-$8.67 after having opened the day at $7.28 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $7.80.

Sky Solar Holdings has a market cap of $378.8 million and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are down 38.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there is 1 analyst who rates Sky Solar Holdings a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

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