5 Stocks Pushing The Utilities Sector Higher

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

All three major indices are trading up today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 163 points (1.2%) at 13,275 as of Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, 12:34 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 2,126 issues advancing vs. 762 declining with 145 unchanged.

The Utilities sector currently sits up 0.2% versus the S&P 500, which is up 1.1%. Top gainers within the sector include Integrys Energy Group ( TEG), up 2.3%, American Water Works ( AWK), up 2.0% and TransCanada ( TRP), up 0.6%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Atlantic Power Corporation ( AT), down 9.4%, Korea Electric Power ( KEP), down 2.1% and Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras ( EBR.B), down 1.1%.

TheStreet Ratings group would like to highlight 5 stocks pushing the sector higher today:

5. AES ( AES) is one of the companies pushing the Utilities sector higher today. As of noon trading, AES is up $0.19 (1.8%) to $10.56 on light volume Thus far, 2.0 million shares of AES exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.5 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $10.33-$10.60 after having opened the day at $10.37 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $10.37.

The AES Corporation, a power company, operates a portfolio of electricity generation and distribution businesses. Its Generation business owns and/or operates power plants to generate and sell power to wholesale customers, such as utilities and other intermediaries. AES has a market cap of $8.0 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 17.8, equal to the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 10.0% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 5 analysts that rate AES a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates AES as a hold. The company's strongest point has been its very decent return on equity which we feel should persist. At the same time, however, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, generally higher debt management risk and weak operating cash flow. Get the full AES Ratings Report now.

4. As of noon trading, Calpine ( CPN) is up $0.37 (2.1%) to $17.98 on average volume Thus far, 2.5 million shares of Calpine exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.3 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $17.34-$18.01 after having opened the day at $17.86 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $17.61.

Calpine Corporation, an independent wholesale power generation company, owns and operates natural gas-fired and geothermal power plants in North America. It operates natural gas-fired combustion turbines and renewable geothermal conventional steam turbines, as well as cogeneration power plants. Calpine has a market cap of $8.2 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of -50.4, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 8.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 8 analysts that rate Calpine a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Calpine as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its unimpressive growth in net income, generally high debt management risk, weak operating cash flow and feeble growth in its earnings per share. Get the full Calpine Ratings Report now.

3. As of noon trading, EQT ( EQT) is up $1.09 (1.8%) to $62.34 on light volume Thus far, 230,339 shares of EQT exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.1 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $61.48-$62.48 after having opened the day at $61.55 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $61.25.

EQT Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, operates as an integrated energy company in the United States. It operates in three segments: EQT Production, EQT Midstream, and Distribution. EQT has a market cap of $9.1 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 40.4, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 10.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 10 analysts that rate EQT a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 5 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates EQT as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself. Get the full EQT Ratings Report now.

2. As of noon trading, Sempra Energy ( SRE) is up $0.76 (1.1%) to $69.00 on average volume Thus far, 620,106 shares of Sempra Energy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.1 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $68.11-$69.86 after having opened the day at $68.45 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $68.24.

Sempra Energy operates as an energy services holding company worldwide. The company operates utilities, develops new energy infrastructure, and provides energy-related services to approximately 31 million consumers worldwide. Sempra Energy has a market cap of $16.7 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 27.2, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 25.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 5 analysts that rate Sempra Energy a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Sempra Energy as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, good cash flow from operations and reasonable valuation levels. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. Get the full Sempra Energy Ratings Report now.

1. As of noon trading, FirstEnergy ( FE) is up $0.68 (1.6%) to $43.23 on average volume Thus far, 1.3 million shares of FirstEnergy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.5 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $42.55-$43.31 after having opened the day at $42.60 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $42.55.

FirstEnergy Corp. operates as a diversified energy company. The company, through its subsidiaries, engages in the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity. FirstEnergy has a market cap of $18.6 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 16.3, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 0.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 4 analysts that rate FirstEnergy a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 11 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates FirstEnergy as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its reasonable valuation levels and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself. Get the full FirstEnergy Ratings Report now.

If you are interested in one of these 5 stocks, 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).

A reminder about TheStreet Ratings group: 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.

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