Ameren Corp (AEE): Today's Featured Utilities Loser

Ameren ( AEE) 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, Ameren fell 34 cents (-1%) to $32.50 on average volume. Throughout the day, 1.3 million shares of Ameren exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.5 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $32.47-$32.87 after having opened the day at $32.79 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $32.84. Other company's within the Utilities sector that declined today were: GreenHunter Energy ( GRH), down 10.1%, China Hydroelectric Corporation ( CHC), down 5.6%, Niska Gas Storage Partners ( NKA), down 3.5%, and Unitil Corporation ( UTL), down 2.7%.

Ameren Corporation operates as a public utility holding company in Missouri and Illinois, the United States. Ameren has a market cap of $7.89 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 29.3, below the average utilities industry P/E ratio of 171.2 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 0.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are no analysts that rate Ameren a buy, three analysts rate it a sell, and eight rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Ameren as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

On the positive front, Delta Natural Gas Company ( DGAS), up 4.3%, Dynegy ( DYN), up 2.5%, and Ocean Power Technologies ( OPTT), up 1.8%, were all gainers within the utilities sector with TransCanada ( TRP) 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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