Suburban Propane Partners LP (SPH): Today's Featured Utilities Loser

The utilities sector closed the day down 0.8%. Transportadora de Gas del Sur ( TGS), Dynegy Inc ( DYN), U.S. Geothermal Inc ( HTM), and ITC Holdings ( ITC) were all decliners today within the utilities sector with Suburban Propane Partners ( SPH) being today's featured utilities loser. Suburban Propane Partners fell 60 cents (-1.3%) to $46.72 on light volume. Throughout the day, 40,134 shares of Suburban Propane Partners exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 142,100 shares.

Suburban Propane Partners, L.P., through its subsidiaries, engages in the retail marketing and distribution of propane, fuel oil, and refined fuels, and the marketing of natural gas and electricity in the United States. Suburban Propane Partners has a market cap of $1.6 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.9, equal to the average utilities industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 15.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Suburban Propane as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and notable return on equity. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, poor profit margins and weak operating cash flow.

On the positive front, China Hydroelectric ( CHC), GreenHunter Energy Inc ( GRH), National Grid ( NGG), and Constellation Energy Group Inc ( CEG) were all gainers within the utilities sector with Southern ( SO) being today's featured utilities sector winner.

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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