FirstEnergy Corp (FE): Today's Featured Utilities Winner

FirstEnergy ( FE) pushed the Utilities sector higher today making it today's featured utilities winner. The sector as a whole closed the day down 0.3%. By the end of trading, FirstEnergy rose 29 cents (0.6%) to $49.63 on light volume. Throughout the day, 1.6 million shares of FirstEnergy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.9 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $49.11-$49.70 after having opened the day at $49.25 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $49.34. Other companies within the Utilities sector that increased today were: RGC Resources ( RGCO), up 3.1%, Atlas Energy ( ATLS), up 3.1%, Pure Cycle Corporation ( PCYO), up 2.9%, and Brookfield Infrastructure Partners ( BIP), up 2.1%.

FirstEnergy Corp. operates as a diversified energy company. The company, through its subsidiaries, engages in the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity. FirstEnergy has a market cap of $20.53 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 17.5, below the average utilities industry P/E ratio of 18.1 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 10.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are seven analysts that rate FirstEnergy a buy, one analyst rates it a sell, and seven rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates FirstEnergy as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, compelling growth in net income, solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally poor debt management on most measures that we evaluated.

On the negative front, U.S. Geothermal ( HTM), down 10%, American DG Energy ( ADGE), down 4.4%, Active Power ( ACPW), down 3.1%, and Delta Natural Gas Company ( DGAS), down 2.7%, were all losers within the utilities sector with PG&E ( PCG) 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).

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