AES

(

AES

) pushed the Utilities sector higher today making it today's featured utilities winner. The sector as a whole was unchanged today. By the end of trading, AES rose 17 cents (1.4%) to $12.55 on average volume. Throughout the day, 4.2 million shares of AES exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.4 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $12.35-$12.56 after having opened the day at $12.35 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $12.38. Other companies within the Utilities sector that increased today were:

GreenHunter Energy

(

GRH

), up 3.7%,

Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras

(

EBR.B

), up 3.3%,

Transportadora de Gas del Sur

(

TGS

), up 2.9%, and

El Paso Electric Company

(

EE

), up 2.4%.

The AES Corporation, through its subsidiaries, operates as a power company in Latin America, Africa, North America, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. The company owns and operates two businesses, Generation and Utilities. AES has a market cap of $9.37 billion and is part of the

utilities

industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 16.7, below the average utilities industry P/E ratio of 55.5 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 4.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are five analysts that rate AES a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates AES as a

buy

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its compelling growth in net income, revenue growth, attractive valuation levels, good cash flow from operations and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally poor debt management on most measures that we evaluated.

On the negative front,

Dynegy

(

DYN

), down 5.1%,

Clean Energy Fuels Corporation

(

CLNE

), down 3.8%,

China Hydroelectric Corporation

(

CHC

), down 3.8%, and

Ellomay Capital

(

ELLO

), down 3.4%, were all losers within the utilities sector with

American Water Works

(

AWK

) being today's utilities sector loser.

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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