3 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 down today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading down 27 points (-0.2%) at 12,904 as of Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012, 11:49 AM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,218 issues advancing vs. 1,656 declining with 135 unchanged.

The Utilities sector currently is unchanged today versus the S&P 500, which is down 0.2%. Top gainers within the sector include FirstEnergy ( FE), up 1.9%, Southern ( SO), up 1.8% and Exelon ( EXC), up 0.8%. A company within the sector that fell today was Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras ( EBR.B), up 2.8%.

TheStreet Ratings group would like to highlight 3 stocks pushing the sector higher today:

3. Consolidated Edison ( ED) is one of the companies pushing the Utilities sector higher today. As of noon trading, Consolidated Edison is up $0.65 (1.2%) to $56.91 on average volume Thus far, 934,407 shares of Consolidated Edison exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.3 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $56.37-$57.44 after having opened the day at $56.47 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $56.26.

Consolidated Edison, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides energy services to residential, commercial, industrial, and government customers in the United States. Consolidated Edison has a market cap of $16.9 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 15.2, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 9.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there is 1 analyst that rates Consolidated Edison a buy, 3 analysts rate it a sell, and 8 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Consolidated Edison as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its growth in earnings per share, increase in net income, reasonable valuation levels and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow. Get the full Consolidated Edison Ratings Report now.

2. As of noon trading, American Electric Power ( AEP) is up $0.32 (0.8%) to $42.39 on average volume Thus far, 892,570 shares of American Electric Power exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.3 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $42.03-$42.54 after having opened the day at $42.07 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $42.07.

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 $21.0 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.5, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 4.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 9 analysts that rate American Electric Power a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 8 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. Get the full American Electric Power Ratings Report now.

1. As of noon trading, PPL ( PPL) is up $0.69 (2.4%) to $28.99 on heavy volume Thus far, 4.5 million shares of PPL exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.1 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $28.37-$29.15 after having opened the day at $28.37 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $28.30.

PPL Corporation, an energy and utility holding company, engages in the generation, transmission, distribution, and sale of electricity to wholesale and retail customers in the United States and the United Kingdom. PPL has a market cap of $16.7 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 9.8, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 2.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 4 analysts that rate PPL a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 8 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates PPL as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity, compelling growth in net income, impressive record of earnings per share growth and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated. Get the full PPL Ratings Report now.

If you are interested in one of these 3 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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