Duke Energy Corporation

(

DUK

) pushed the Utilities sector higher today making it today's featured utilities winner. The sector as a whole closed the day down 0.3%. By the end of trading, Duke Energy Corporation rose 55 cents (0.8%) to $65.82 on light volume. Throughout the day, four million shares of Duke Energy Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.6 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $65.22-$65.96 after having opened the day at $65.57 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $65.27. Other companies within the Utilities sector that increased today were:

U.S. Geothermal

(

HTM

), up 3%,

GenOn Energy

(

GEN

), up 2.7%, and

RGC Resources

(

RGCO

), up 1.6%.

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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 $29.54 billion and is part of the

utilities

industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 19.5, below the average utilities industry P/E ratio of 19.7 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 197.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there is one analyst that rates Duke Energy Corporation a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 15 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.

On the negative front,

Huaneng Power International

(

HNP

), down 4%,

TransAlta Corporation

(

TAC

), down 3.2%,

AES

(

AES

), down 2.6%, and

Ocean Power Technologies

(

OPTT

), down 2.4%, were all laggards within the utilities sector with

Sempra Energy

(

SRE

) being today's utilities sector laggard.

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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