4 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

All three major indices are trading down today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading down 33 points (-0.2%) at 14,002 as of Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013, 11:50 AM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,057 issues advancing vs. 1,779 declining with 154 unchanged.

The Utilities sector currently sits up 0.1% versus the S&P 500, which is down 0.5%. A company within the sector that fell today was National Electricity Company of Chile ( EOC), up 0.9%.

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

4. Korea Electric Power ( KEP) is one of the companies pushing the Utilities sector higher today. As of noon trading, Korea Electric Power is up $0.10 (0.7%) to $14.65 on light volume Thus far, 181,283 shares of Korea Electric Power exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 817,700 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $14.65-$14.74 after having opened the day at $14.67 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $14.55.

Korea Electric Power Corporation, an integrated electric utility company, engages in the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity in Korea. The company generates power from nuclear, coal, oil, liquefied natural gas, hydro, wind, and solar sources. Korea Electric Power has a market cap of $18.4 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 25.6, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 2.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there is 1 analyst that rates Korea Electric Power a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Korea Electric Power as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its poor profit margins and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself. Get the full Korea Electric Power Ratings Report now.

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3. As of noon trading, CenterPoint Energy ( CNP) is up $0.29 (1.4%) to $20.80 on average volume Thus far, 1.9 million shares of CenterPoint Energy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.0 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $20.48-$20.83 after having opened the day at $20.52 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $20.51.

CenterPoint Energy, Inc. operates as a public utility holding company. CenterPoint Energy has a market cap of $8.7 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 21.7, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 6.0% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 5 analysts that rate CenterPoint Energy a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 7 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, expanding profit margins, reasonable valuation levels 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 CenterPoint Energy Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, Ameren ( AEE) is up $0.58 (1.7%) to $33.82 on average volume Thus far, 869,711 shares of Ameren exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.0 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $33.21-$34.04 after having opened the day at $33.24 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $33.24.

Ameren Corporation operates as a public utility holding company in Missouri and Illinois, the United States. Ameren has a market cap of $8.0 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 26.3, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 7.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there is 1 analyst that rates Ameren a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 8 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, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity. Get the full Ameren Ratings Report now.

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1. As of noon trading, Dominion Resources ( D) is up $0.53 (1.0%) to $56.12 on light volume Thus far, 691,874 shares of Dominion Resources exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.0 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $55.54-$56.14 after having opened the day at $55.57 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $55.59.

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 $31.6 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 18.0, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 6.0% 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 strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations 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 Dominion Resources Ratings Report now.

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If you are interested in one of these 4 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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