Ameren Corp (AEE): 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.

Ameren ( AEE) pushed the Utilities sector lower today making it today's featured Utilities laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day down 0.6%. By the end of trading, Ameren fell 39 cents (-1.3%) to $29.58 on average volume. Throughout the day, 1.6 million shares of Ameren exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.7 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $29.40-$30 after having opened the day at $30 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $29.97. Other companies within the Utilities sector that declined today were: China Hydroelectric Corporation ( CHC), down 9.2%, Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras ( EBR.B), down 6.7%, Pure Cycle Corporation ( PCYO), down 6.3%, and Transportadora de Gas del Sur ( TGS), down 5.5%.
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Ameren Corporation operates as a public utility holding company in Missouri and Illinois, the United States. Ameren has a market cap of $7.18 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 23.5, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 9.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are no analysts that rate Ameren a buy, two analysts rate it a sell, and eight rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Ameren 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, 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.

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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