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Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model





) pushed the Utilities sector lower today making it today's featured Utilities laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day down 0.3%. By the end of trading, FirstEnergy fell 47 cents (-1.1%) to $41.48 on light volume. Throughout the day, 2.6 million shares of FirstEnergy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.5 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $41.48-$41.94 after having opened the day at $41.86 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $41.95. Other companies within the Utilities sector that declined today were:

American DG Energy



), down 4%,

Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras



), down 3.4%,

Ocean Power Technologies



), down 3.2%, and

Korea Electric Power



), down 2.9%.

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FirstEnergy Corp., a diversified energy holding company, engages in the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity in the United States. The company operates in Regulated Distribution, Regulated Transmission, and Competitive Energy Services segments. FirstEnergy has a market cap of $17.46 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 22.7, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 0.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are two analysts that rate FirstEnergy a buy, one analyst rates it a sell, and 10 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates FirstEnergy as a


. Among the primary strengths of the company is its generally strong cash flow from operations. At the same time, however, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, generally higher debt management risk and disappointing return on equity.

On the positive front,

Pure Cycle Corporation



), up 8%,

U.S. Geothermal



), up 5.3%,

Inergy L.P



), up 2.9%, and

National Electricity Company of Chile



), up 2.7%, were all gainers within the utilities sector with

CenterPoint Energy



) being today's featured utilities sector leader.

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



) while those bearish on the utilities sector could consider

ProShares UltraShort Utilities




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