Duke Energy Corporation

(

DUK

) pushed the Utilities sector lower today making it today's featured Utilities loser. The sector as a whole closed the day down 1.1%. By the end of trading, Duke Energy Corporation fell 13 cents (-0.6%) to $21.85 on light volume. Throughout the day, 6.7 million shares of Duke Energy Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 12.6 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $21.84-$22.07 after having opened the day at $21.90 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $21.98. Other company's within the Utilities sector that declined today were:

EQT

(

EQT

), down 4.7%,

Delta Natural Gas Company

(

DGAS

), down 4.6%,

GenOn Energy

(

GEN

), down 4.5%, and

Clean Energy Fuels Corporation

(

CLNE

), down 3.9%.

Duke Energy Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, operates as an energy company in the United States and Latin America. The company operates in three segments: U.S. Franchised Electric and Gas, Commercial Power, and International Energy. The U.S. Duke Energy Corporation has a market cap of $29.38 billion and is part of the

utilities

industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 19.6, equal to the average utilities industry P/E ratio and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 0.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are two analysts that rate Duke Energy Corporation a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 13 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Duke Energy Corporation as a

buy

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its expanding profit margins, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

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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