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

Two out of the three major indices are trading up today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 67 points (0.5%) at 13,019 as of Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012, 11:50 AM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,464 issues advancing vs. 1,407 declining with 149 unchanged.

The Utilities sector currently is unchanged today versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.0%. Top gainers within the sector include Edison International ( EIX), up 0.9%, Northeast Utilities ( NU), up 0.9%, Xcel Energy ( XEL), up 0.8% and Korea Electric Power ( KEP), up 0.7%. A company within the sector that fell today was Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras ( EBR.B), up 3.4%.

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

5. Public Service Enterprise Group ( PEG) is one of the companies pushing the Utilities sector higher today. As of noon trading, Public Service Enterprise Group is up $0.23 (0.8%) to $29.60 on light volume Thus far, 570,984 shares of Public Service Enterprise Group exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.3 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $29.35-$29.65 after having opened the day at $29.47 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $29.36.

Public Service Enterprise Group Incorporated, through its subsidiaries, operates as an energy company primarily in the northeastern and mid Atlantic United States. Public Service Enterprise Group has a market cap of $15.1 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 10.7, below 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 Tuesday. Currently there is 1 analyst that rates Public Service Enterprise Group a buy, 3 analysts rate it a sell, and 9 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Public Service Enterprise Group as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in net income, 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 shows weak operating cash flow. Get the full Public Service Enterprise Group Ratings Report now.

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4. As of noon trading, Sempra Energy ( SRE) is up $0.74 (1.1%) to $68.98 on light volume Thus far, 258,995 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 $68.12-$69.00 after having opened the day at $68.12 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $68.24.

Sempra Energy, through its subsidiaries, operates as an energy services company. Sempra Energy has a market cap of $16.6 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 27.9, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 24.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 4 analysts that rate Sempra Energy a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 3 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 good cash flow from operations, solid stock price performance 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.

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3. As of noon trading, American Electric Power ( AEP) is up $0.31 (0.7%) to $42.66 on light volume Thus far, 720,503 shares of American Electric Power exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.4 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $42.33-$42.67 after having opened the day at $42.34 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $42.35.

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 $20.5 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.2, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 2.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 9 analysts that rate American Electric Power a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 7 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates American Electric Power as a buy. Among the primary strengths of the company is its solid stock performance, considering both the consistency and magnitude of the price movement over time. 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.

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2. As of noon trading, Dominion Resources ( D) is up $0.57 (1.1%) to $50.97 on light volume Thus far, 764,109 shares of Dominion Resources exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.1 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $50.43-$51.00 after having opened the day at $50.48 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $50.40.

Dominion Resources, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, engages in producing and transporting energy in the United States. It operates in three segments: DVP, Dominion Generation, and Dominion Energy. Dominion Resources has a market cap of $29.2 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 25.0, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 4.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 4 analysts that rate Dominion Resources a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 12 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Dominion Resources as a buy. The company's strongest point has been its very decent return on equity which we feel should persist. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself. Get the full Dominion Resources Ratings Report now.

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1. As of noon trading, Duke Energy Corporation ( DUK) is up $0.27 (0.4%) to $63.87 on light volume Thus far, 967,653 shares of Duke Energy Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $63.41-$63.96 after having opened the day at $63.52 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $63.60.

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 $45.1 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 20.3, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 3.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 3 analysts that rate Duke Energy Corporation a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 13 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 somewhat disappointing return on equity. Get the full Duke Energy Corporation 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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