FirstEnergy

(

FE

) pushed the Utilities sector higher today making it today's featured utilities winner. The sector as a whole closed the day up 1.2%. By the end of trading, FirstEnergy rose 72 cents (1.4%) to $50.42 on light volume. Throughout the day, 1.4 million shares of FirstEnergy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.7 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $49.83-$50.50 after having opened the day at $50 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $49.70. Other companies within the Utilities sector that increased today were:

American DG Energy

(

ADGE

), up 7.9%,

Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras

(

EBR

), up 6.2%,

Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras

(

EBR.B

), up 5.4%, and

Transportadora de Gas del Sur

(

TGS

), up 4.2%.

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FirstEnergy Corp. operates as a diversified energy company. The company, through its subsidiaries, engages in the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity. FirstEnergy has a market cap of $20.43 billion and is part of the

utilities

industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 17.4, below the average utilities industry P/E ratio of 18 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 12.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are six analysts that rate FirstEnergy a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and nine rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates FirstEnergy as a

buy

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, compelling growth in net income, solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth 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.

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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