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 closed the day up 0.2%. By the end of trading, PG&E fell 61 cents (-1.4%) to $44.30 on average volume. Throughout the day, 2.8 million shares of PG&E exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.4 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $44.28-$45.05 after having opened the day at $44.83 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $44.91. Other companies within the Utilities sector that declined today were: Transportadora de Gas del Sur ( TGS), down 4.3%, GreenHunter Energy ( GRH), down 3.8%, Distribution and Marketing Company of the N ( EDN), down 3.6%, and Ocean Power Technologies ( OPTT), down 3%.

PG&E Corporation, through its subsidiaries, operates as a public utility company in northern and central California. PG&E has a market cap of $19.25 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 25.2, above the average utilities industry P/E ratio of 24.9 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 9.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. 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, China Hydroelectric Corporation ( CHC), up 15.3%, Pure Cycle Corporation ( PCYO), up 2.9%, Basic Sanitation Company of the State of Sa ( SBS), up 2.8%, and Connecticut Water Service ( CTWS), up 2.4%, were all gainers within the utilities sector with EQT ( EQT) 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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