Duke Energy Corporation (DUK): Today's Featured Utilities Winner

Duke Energy Corporation ( DUK) pushed the Utilities sector higher today making it today's featured utilities winner. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.3%. By the end of trading, Duke Energy Corporation rose 12 cents (0.5%) to $23.26 on average volume. Throughout the day, 16.4 million shares of Duke Energy Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 14.5 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $23.10-$23.35 after having opened the day at $23.30 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $23.14. Other companies within the Utilities sector that increased today were: American DG Energy ( ADGE), up 6.6%, Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras ( EBR), up 4.9%, Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras ( EBR.B), up 3.6%, and CPFL Energy ( CPL), up 3.5%.

Duke Energy Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, operates as an energy company in the United States and Latin America. The company operates in three segments: U.S. Franchised Electric and Gas, Commercial Power, and International Energy. The U.S. Duke Energy Corporation has a market cap of $30.58 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 20.4, equal to the average utilities industry P/E ratio and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 2.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are two analysts that rate Duke Energy Corporation a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 13 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Duke Energy Corporation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its expanding profit margins, 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 negative front, China Hydroelectric Corporation ( CHC), down 12%, GreenHunter Energy ( GRH), down 7.2%, Niska Gas Storage Partners ( NKA), down 6.2%, and Huaneng Power International ( HNP), down 3.8%, were all losers within the utilities sector with American Water Works ( AWK) being today's utilities sector loser.

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).