5 Stocks Pushing The Utilities Sector Lower

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

One out of the three major indices are trading lower today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading down 9 points (-0.1%) at 12,786 as of Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012, 11:49 AM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,471 issues advancing vs. 1,424 declining with 128 unchanged.

The Utilities sector currently sits down 0.3% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.0%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras ( EBR), down 5.8%, Empresa Nacional de Electricidad ( EOC), down 1.2%, Calpine ( CPN), down 1.4%, Public Service Enterprise Group ( PEG), down 1.0% and Korea Electric Power ( KEP), down 0.7%.

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

5. Consolidated Edison ( ED) is one of the companies pushing the Utilities sector lower today. As of noon trading, Consolidated Edison is down $0.44 (-0.8%) to $54.31 on light volume Thus far, 488,956 shares of Consolidated Edison exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.4 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $54.17-$54.80 after having opened the day at $54.76 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $54.75.

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 $16.1 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.4, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 11.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there is 1 analyst that rates Consolidated Edison a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 9 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, attractive valuation levels, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow. Get the full Consolidated Edison Ratings Report now.

4. As of noon trading, FirstEnergy ( FE) is down $0.27 (-0.7%) to $41.29 on light volume Thus far, 756,854 shares of FirstEnergy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.3 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $41.16-$41.62 after having opened the day at $41.60 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $41.56.

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 $17.3 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 17.2, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 6.6% 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 good cash flow from operations, attractive 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.

3. As of noon trading, Southern ( SO) is down $0.57 (-1.3%) to $42.20 on heavy volume Thus far, 3.4 million shares of Southern exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.1 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $42.14-$42.72 after having opened the day at $42.52 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $42.77.

The Southern Company operates as an electric utility company. It is involved in the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity through coal, nuclear, oil and gas, and hydro resources. Southern has a market cap of $37.3 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 16.8, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 7.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 2 analysts that rate Southern a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 12 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Southern as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in net income, expanding profit margins, growth in earnings per share, notable return on equity and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself. Get the full Southern Ratings Report now.

2. As of noon trading, Exelon ( EXC) is down $0.26 (-0.9%) to $28.93 on light volume Thus far, 2.3 million shares of Exelon exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 7.2 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $28.80-$29.23 after having opened the day at $29.16 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $29.19.

Exelon Corporation, a utility services holding company, engages in the energy generation and distribution business in the United States. Exelon has a market cap of $25.0 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 15.6, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 32.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there is 1 analyst that rates Exelon a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 17 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Exelon as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, feeble growth in the company's earnings per share and deteriorating net income. Get the full Exelon Ratings Report now.

1. As of noon trading, Duke Energy Corporation ( DUK) is down $0.33 (-0.5%) to $60.66 on light volume Thus far, 1.1 million shares of Duke Energy Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.6 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $60.40-$61.13 after having opened the day at $61.02 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $60.99.

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 $42.9 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 19.3, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 7.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 3 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 robust revenue growth, increase in net income, good cash flow from operations, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself. Get the full Duke Energy Corporation 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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