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 higher today making it today's featured utilities winner. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.5%. By the end of trading, Southern rose $0.62 (1.5%) to $43.10 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 9,763,464 shares of Southern exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4,272,600 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $42.33-$43.59 after having opened the day at $43.15 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $42.48. Other companies within the Utilities sector that increased today were:

Inergy L.P



), up 10.3%,

China Hydroelectric Corporation



), up 8.0%,

Atlantic Power Corporation



), up 7.0% and

Huaneng Power International



), up 6.7%.

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The Southern Company, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a public electric utility company. Southern has a market cap of $37.9 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 18.6, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 0.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there is 1 analyst that rates Southern a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 11 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates


as a


. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

On the negative front,

Beacon Power



), down 18.2%,

Energy Company of Parana



), down 15.5%,

Companhia De Saneamento Basico Do Estado De



), down 5.7% and

Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras



), down 4.3%.

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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