Xcel Energy Inc (XEL): Today's Featured Utilities Winner

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.

Xcel Energy ( XEL) pushed the Utilities sector higher today making it today's featured utilities winner. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.2%. By the end of trading, Xcel Energy rose 31 cents (1.1%) to $27.78 on average volume. Throughout the day, three million shares of Xcel Energy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.4 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $27.34-$27.80 after having opened the day at $27.49 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $27.47. Other companies within the Utilities sector that increased today were: Pure Cycle Corporation ( PCYO), up 6.3%, GreenHunter Energy ( GRH), up 4.8%, Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras ( EBR.B), up 3.6%, and Ellomay Capital ( ELLO), up 3%.
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Xcel Energy Inc., through its subsidiaries, engages in the generation, purchase, transmission, distribution, and sale of electricity in the United States. The company generates electricity using coal, natural gas, nuclear, hydro, solar, waste, biomass, oil, and wind energy sources. Xcel Energy has a market cap of $13.36 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.8, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 3.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are three analysts that rate Xcel Energy a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 12 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Xcel Energy 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, notable return on equity 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.

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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