American Electric Power Co Inc (AEP): 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.

American Electric Power ( AEP) pushed the Utilities sector higher today making it today's featured utilities winner. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.1%. By the end of trading, American Electric Power rose 49 cents (1.1%) to $44.44 on average volume. Throughout the day, 2.4 million shares of American Electric Power exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.3 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $43.99-$44.55 after having opened the day at $44.19 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $43.95. Other companies within the Utilities sector that increased today were: GreenHunter Energy ( GRH), up 9.5%, Transportadora de Gas del Sur ( TGS), up 4.5%, Korea Electric Power ( KEP), up 2.4%, and Atlantic Power Corporation ( AT), up 2.1%.
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American Electric Power Company, Inc., a public utility holding company, engages in the generation, transmission, and distribution of electric power to retail customers. It generates electricity using coal and lignite, natural gas, nuclear energy, and hydroelectric energy. American Electric Power has a market cap of $21.31 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.7, above the average utilities industry P/E ratio of 10.7 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 6.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are nine analysts that rate American Electric Power a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and eight rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates American Electric Power as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in stock price during the past year and attractive valuation levels. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

On the negative front, China Hydroelectric Corporation ( CHC), down 31.3%, Clean Energy Fuels Corporation ( CLNE), down 5.5%, Pure Cycle Corporation ( PCYO), down 3.8%, and Energy Company of Parana ( ELP), down 3.1%, were all laggards within the utilities sector with EQT ( EQT) being today's utilities sector laggard.

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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