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

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.

Duke Energy Corporation ( DUK) pushed the Utilities sector lower today making it today's featured Utilities laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day down 0.1%. By the end of trading, Duke Energy Corporation fell 67 cents (-1%) to $64.32 on light volume. Throughout the day, 2.4 million shares of Duke Energy Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.6 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $64.26-$65.14 after having opened the day at $65.02 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $64.99. Other companies within the Utilities sector that declined today were: GreenHunter Energy ( GRH), down 4%, Clean Energy Fuels Corporation ( CLNE), down 3%, Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras ( EBR.B), down 3%, and Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras ( EBR), down 2.8%.
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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 $46.12 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 19.5, equal to the average utilities industry P/E ratio and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 1.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are two analysts that rate Duke Energy Corporation a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 14 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 increase in net income, revenue growth, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.

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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