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Sempra Energy

(

SRE

) pushed the Utilities sector higher today making it today's featured utilities winner. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.9%. By the end of trading, Sempra Energy rose 69 cents (1%) to $68.88 on light volume. Throughout the day, 874,248 shares of Sempra Energy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.5 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $68.29-$69.23 after having opened the day at $68.80 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $68.19. Other companies within the Utilities sector that increased today were:

Niska Gas Storage Partners

(

NKA

), up 6.6%,

Ellomay Capital

(

ELLO

), up 6.4%,

Atlas Energy

(

ATLS

), up 5%, and

TheStreet Recommends

Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras

(

EBR

), up 4.3%.

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Sempra Energy operates as an energy services holding company worldwide. The company operates utilities, develops new energy infrastructure, and provides energy-related services to approximately 31 million consumers worldwide. Sempra Energy has a market cap of $16.38 billion and is part of the

utilities

industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 15.5, above the average utilities industry P/E ratio of 12.3 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 24% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are five analysts that rate Sempra Energy a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and three rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Sempra Energy as a

buy

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

On the negative front,

American DG Energy

(

ADGE

), down 9.2%, was a loser within the utilities sector with

EQT

(

EQT

) being today's utilities sector Loser Spotlight stock.

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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