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.

Trade-Ideas LLC identified

Ameren

(

AEE

) as a "barbarian at the gate" (strong stocks crossing above resistance with today's range greater than 200%) candidate. In addition to specific proprietary factors, Trade-Ideas identified Ameren as such a stock due to the following factors:

  • AEE has an average dollar-volume (as measured by average daily share volume multiplied by share price) of $51.4 million.
  • AEE has traded 496,066 shares today.
  • AEE traded in a range 214.9% of the normal price range with a price range of $1.21.
  • AEE traded above its daily resistance level (quality: 71 days, meaning that the stock is crossing a resistance level set by the last 71 calendar days. The resistance price is defined by the Price - $0.01 at the time of the signal).

Stocks matching the 'Barbarian at the Gate' criteria are worthwhile stocks to watch for a variety of factors including historical back testing and volatility. Trade-Ideas targets these opportunities because the stock is exhibiting an unusual behavior while displaying positive price action. In this case, the stock crossed an important inflection point; namely, 'resistance' while at the same time the range of the stock's movement in price is more than twice its normal size. This large range foreshadows a possible continuation as the stock moves higher.

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More details on AEE:

Ameren Corporation operates as a public utility holding company in the United States. The company engages in the rate-regulated electric generation, transmission, and distribution; and rate-regulated natural gas transmission and distribution businesses. The stock currently has a dividend yield of 4.1%. AEE has a PE ratio of 16. Currently there are 4 analysts that rate Ameren a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 5 rate it a hold.

The average volume for Ameren has been 1.3 million shares per day over the past 30 days. Ameren has a market cap of $9.6 billion and is part of the utilities sector and utilities industry. The stock has a beta of 0.55 and a short float of 1.8% with 3.43 days to cover. Shares are down 13.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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TheStreetRatings.com

Analysis:

TheStreet Quant Ratings

rates Ameren as a

buy

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its growth in earnings per share, increase in net income, reasonable valuation levels, good cash flow from operations and notable return on equity. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • AMEREN CORP has improved earnings per share by 12.5% 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, AMEREN CORP increased its bottom line by earning $2.41 versus $2.10 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.55 versus $2.41).
  • The company, on the basis of net income growth from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly outperformed against the S&P 500 and exceeded that of the Multi-Utilities industry average. The net income increased by 12.5% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $96.00 million to $108.00 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $298.00 million or 24.68% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow, AMEREN CORP's cash flow growth rate is still lower than the industry average growth rate of 38.79%.
  • Regardless of the drop in revenue, the company managed to outperform against the industry average of 11.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 2.4%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.

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