PG&E Corp (PCG): Today's Featured Utilities Laggard

PG&E ( PCG) pushed the Utilities sector lower today making it today's featured Utilities laggard. The sector as a whole was unchanged today. By the end of trading, PG&E fell 65 cents (-1.4%) to $45.13 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 4.5 million shares of PG&E exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.3 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $44.88-$46.02 after having opened the day at $45.78 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $45.78. Other companies within the Utilities sector that declined today were: Suburban Propane Partners ( SPH), down 6.4%, Delta Natural Gas Company ( DGAS), down 5.5%, Clean Energy Fuels Corporation ( CLNE), down 4%, and Ocean Power Technologies ( OPTT), down 3.7%.

PG&E Corporation, through its subsidiaries, operates as a public utility company in northern and central California. PG&E has a market cap of $19.64 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 21.5, above the average utilities industry P/E ratio of 21.4 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 11.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are four analysts that rate PG&E a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 11 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates PG&E as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, increase in net income, expanding profit margins, solid stock price performance and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

On the positive front, GenOn Energy ( GEN), up 4.3%, Atlas Energy ( ATLS), up 4.2%, Distribution and Marketing Company of the N ( EDN), up 4.1%, and NRG Energy ( NRG), up 3.6%, were all gainers within the utilities sector with PPL ( PPL) being today's featured utilities sector leader.

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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