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

Duke Energy Corporation ( DUK) 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, Duke Energy Corporation fell 92 cents (-1.4%) to $65.31 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 12.5 million shares of Duke Energy Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.1 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $64.52-$65.68 after having opened the day at $65.22 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $66.23. Other company's within the Utilities sector that declined today were: American DG Energy ( ADGE), down 10.1%, Ormat Technologies ( ORA), down 7.4%, Pure Cycle Corporation ( PCYO), down 5.5%, and Niska Gas Storage Partners ( NKA), down 4.2%.

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 20.6, above the average utilities industry P/E ratio of 20.4 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 5.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. 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 positive front, Delta Natural Gas Company ( DGAS), up 3.7%, Ocean Power Technologies ( OPTT), up 3.5%, American States Water ( AWR), up 1.9%, and RGC Resources ( RGCO), up 1.6%, 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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