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 or Stephanie Link.

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 up 0.1%. By the end of trading, Duke Energy Corporation rose $0.73 (1.0%) to $70.62 on average volume. Throughout the day, 4,653,475 shares of Duke Energy Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3,206,000 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $69.35-$70.68 after having opened the day at $69.37 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $69.89. Other companies within the Utilities sector that increased today were:

Southcross Energy Partners

(

SXE

), up 5.5%,

GreenHunter Resources

(

GRH

), up 5.0%,

EQT

(

EQT

), up 3.1% and

Cadiz

(

CDZI

), up 3.0%.

Duke Energy Corporation 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 $48.7 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 20.6, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 1.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 8 analysts that rate Duke Energy Corporation a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 6 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 compelling growth in net income, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations, growth in earnings per share and attractive valuation levels. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated.

On the negative front,

Atlantic Power Corporation

(

AT

), down 15.3%,

Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras

(

EBR

), down 4.1%,

Summit Midstream Partners

(

SMLP

), down 2.9% and

American States Water

(

AWR

), down 2.7%.

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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