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

All three major indices are trading up today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 10 points (0.1%) at 14,085 as of Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013, 12:04 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,607 issues advancing vs. 1,243 declining with 160 unchanged.

The Utilities sector currently sits up 0.3% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.2%. Top gainers within the sector include Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras ( EBR), up 3.7%, and Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras ( EBR.B), up 1.6%.

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

5. NiSource ( NI) is one of the companies pushing the Utilities sector higher today. As of noon trading, NiSource is up $0.30 (1.1%) to $27.72 on light volume Thus far, 650,488 shares of NiSource exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.5 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $27.44-$27.72 after having opened the day at $27.44 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $27.42.

NiSource Inc., an energy holding company, through its subsidiaries, provides natural gas, electricity, and other products and services. It operates in three segments: Gas Distribution Operations, Gas Transmission and Storage Operations, and Electric Operations. NiSource has a market cap of $8.4 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 19.8, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 10.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 3 analysts that rate NiSource a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 5 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates NiSource as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its good cash flow from operations and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. Get the full NiSource Ratings Report now.

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