PG&E Corp (PCG): Today's Featured Utilities Laggard

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.

PG&E ( PCG) pushed the Utilities sector lower today making it today's featured Utilities laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day down 0.8%. By the end of trading, PG&E fell $1.71 (-4%) to $41.41 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 8.2 million shares of PG&E exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.5 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $41-$42.70 after having opened the day at $42.25 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $43.12. Other companies within the Utilities sector that declined today were: China Hydroelectric Corporation ( CHC), down 6.1%, GreenHunter Energy ( GRH), down 4.6%, Empresa Distribuidora y Comercializadora No ( EDN), down 4.3%, and Huaneng Power International ( HNP), down 4.1%.
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PG&E Corporation, through its subsidiaries, operates as a public utility company in northern and central California. PG&E has a market cap of $18.58 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 20, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 7.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are four analysts that rate PG&E a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 10 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates PG&E as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, attractive valuation levels, increase in net income, growth in earnings per share and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

On the positive front, Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras ( EBR.B), up 1.9% and Gas Natural ( EGAS), up 1.5%, were all gainers within the utilities sector with Public Service Enterprise Group ( PEG) being today's featured utilities sector leader.

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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