4 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

Two out of the three major indices are trading lower today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 15 points (0.1%) at 12,980 as of Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012, 11:49 AM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,319 issues advancing vs. 1,553 declining with 162 unchanged.

The Utilities sector currently is unchanged today versus the S&P 500, which is down 0.1%. A company within the sector that fell today was TransAlta Corporation ( TAC), up 1.6%. Top gainers within the sector include Atlas Energy ( ATLS), up 4.3%, Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras ( EBR), up 1.2% and Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras ( EBR.B), up 0.9%.

TheStreet Ratings group would like to highlight 4 stocks pushing the sector lower today:

4. CenterPoint Energy ( CNP) is one of the companies pushing the Utilities sector lower today. As of noon trading, CenterPoint Energy is down $0.21 (-1.1%) to $19.55 on average volume Thus far, 1.1 million shares of CenterPoint Energy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.9 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $19.55-$19.76 after having opened the day at $19.75 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $19.76.

CenterPoint Energy, Inc. operates as a public utility holding company. CenterPoint Energy has a market cap of $8.4 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 21.0, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 1.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 4 analysts that rate CenterPoint Energy a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 8 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates CenterPoint Energy as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its good cash flow from operations and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. Get the full CenterPoint Energy Ratings Report now.

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3. As of noon trading, EQT ( EQT) is down $1.06 (-1.8%) to $58.32 on average volume Thus far, 791,907 shares of EQT exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.1 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $58.13-$59.19 after having opened the day at $58.83 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $59.38.

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 $9.0 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 40.0, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 9.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 9 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 sub par growth in net income. Get the full EQT Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, Edison International ( EIX) is down $0.34 (-0.8%) to $44.80 on average volume Thus far, 759,592 shares of Edison International exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $44.79-$45.14 after having opened the day at $44.95 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $45.14.

Edison International, through its subsidiaries, engages in the generation and distribution of electric power. It operates in two segments, Electric Utility and Competitive Power Generation. Edison International has a market cap of $14.8 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 9.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 9 analysts that rate Edison International a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Edison International as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. Get the full Edison International Ratings Report now.

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1. As of noon trading, FirstEnergy ( FE) is down $0.39 (-0.9%) to $41.89 on light volume Thus far, 835,757 shares of FirstEnergy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.3 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $41.87-$42.43 after having opened the day at $42.30 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $42.28.

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 $17.8 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 17.7, equal to the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 4.2% 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.

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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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