3 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

One out of the three major indices are trading lower today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 35 points (0.3%) at 14,006 as of Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013, 12:05 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,786 issues advancing vs. 1,060 declining with 154 unchanged.

The Utilities sector currently sits up 0.1% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.1%. A company within the sector that fell today was Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras ( EBR.B), up 2.9%.

TheStreet Ratings group would like to highlight 3 stocks pushing the sector higher today:

3. NRG Energy ( NRG) is one of the companies pushing the Utilities sector higher today. As of noon trading, NRG Energy is up $0.33 (1.4%) to $24.45 on light volume Thus far, 933,131 shares of NRG Energy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.7 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $24.11-$24.47 after having opened the day at $24.15 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $24.12.

NRG Energy, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates as an integrated wholesale power generation and retail electricity company. The company engages in the ownership, development, construction, expansion, modification, refurbishment, and operation of power generation facilities. NRG Energy has a market cap of $5.5 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 5.0% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 6 analysts that rate NRG Energy a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates NRG Energy as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, increase in net income and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including disappointing return on equity, poor profit margins and generally higher debt management risk. Get the full NRG Energy Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, FirstEnergy ( FE) is up $0.18 (0.4%) to $40.43 on average volume Thus far, 1.3 million shares of FirstEnergy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.1 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $40.25-$40.47 after having opened the day at $40.28 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $40.25.

FirstEnergy Corp. operates as a diversified energy company. The company, through its subsidiaries, engages in the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity. It owns and operates fossil, hydroelectric, and nuclear generating facilities, as well as wind and solar facilities. FirstEnergy has a market cap of $16.8 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 3.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 2 analysts that rate FirstEnergy a buy, 1 analyst rates 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, notable return on equity and attractive valuation levels. 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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1. As of noon trading, Exelon ( EXC) is up $0.37 (1.2%) to $31.79 on light volume Thus far, 2.8 million shares of Exelon exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 7.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $31.40-$31.80 after having opened the day at $31.45 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $31.42.

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 $26.6 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 10.9, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 4.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 3 analysts that rate Exelon a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 13 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Exelon as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust 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 deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and poor profit margins. Get the full Exelon Ratings Report now.

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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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