Calpine Corp (CPN): Today's Featured Utilities Loser

Calpine ( CPN) pushed the Utilities sector lower today making it today's featured Utilities loser. The sector as a whole closed the day down 0.4%. By the end of trading, Calpine fell 65 cents (-3.5%) to $18.19 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 6.5 million shares of Calpine exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.6 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $18.08-$18.88 after having opened the day at $18.84 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $18.84. Other company's within the Utilities sector that declined today were: Ocean Power Technologies ( OPTT), down 6.2%, NRG Energy ( NRG), down 4.6%, Clean Energy Fuels Corporation ( CLNE), down 4.5%, and GreenHunter Energy ( GRH), down 4.4%.

Calpine Corporation, an independent wholesale power generation company, owns and operates natural gas-fired and geothermal power plants in North America. It operates natural gas-fired combustion turbines and renewable geothermal conventional steam turbines, as well as cogeneration power plants. Calpine has a market cap of $9.05 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 93.8, equal to the average utilities industry P/E ratio and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 15.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are seven analysts that rate Calpine a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and three rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Calpine as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its generally weak debt management, disappointing return on equity and poor profit margins.

On the positive front, Distribution and Marketing Company of the N ( EDN), up 5.7%, ITC Holdings ( ITC), up 2.8%, American DG Energy ( ADGE), up 2.6%, and Niska Gas Storage Partners ( NKA), up 2.6%, were all gainers within the utilities sector with Duke Energy Corporation ( DUK) 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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