Xcel Energy Inc (XEL): Today's Featured Utilities Winner

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

Xcel Energy ( XEL) pushed the Utilities sector higher today making it today's featured utilities winner. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.7%. By the end of trading, Xcel Energy rose 28 cents (1%) to $27.93 on average volume. Throughout the day, 2.3 million shares of Xcel Energy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.9 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $27.63-$27.96 after having opened the day at $27.66 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $27.65. Other companies within the Utilities sector that increased today were: Distribution and Marketing Company of the N ( EDN), up 13%, Black Hills Corporation ( BKH), up 7.8%, Pure Cycle Corporation ( PCYO), up 7.5%, and China Hydroelectric Corporation ( CHC), up 5.3%.

Xcel Energy Inc., through its subsidiaries, engages in the generation, purchase, transmission, distribution, and sale of electricity in the United States. The company generates electricity using coal, natural gas, nuclear, hydro, solar, waste, biomass, oil, and wind energy sources. Xcel Energy has a market cap of $14.08 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 16.3, below the average utilities industry P/E ratio of 16.6 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 2% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are six analysts that rate Xcel Energy a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 10 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Xcel Energy as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share, increase in net income, notable return on equity and reasonable valuation levels. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

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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