FirstEnergy Corp (FE): 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.

FirstEnergy ( FE) pushed the Utilities sector higher today making it today's featured utilities winner. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.1%. By the end of trading, FirstEnergy rose 44 cents (1.1%) to $40.50 on light volume. Throughout the day, 2.3 million shares of FirstEnergy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.6 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $39.98-$40.50 after having opened the day at $40.13 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $40.06. Other companies within the Utilities sector that increased today were: Fuelcell Energy ( FCEL), up 4.8%, Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras ( EBR), up 4.8%, Ocean Power Technologies ( OPTT), up 3.5%, and Summit Midstream Partners ( SMLP), up 3.5%.
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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 $16.67 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 down 4.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are two analysts that rate FirstEnergy a buy, one analyst rates it a sell, and 10 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates FirstEnergy as a hold. Among the primary strengths of the company is its generally strong cash flow from operations. At the same time, however, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, generally higher debt management risk and disappointing return on equity.

On the negative front, Huaneng Power International ( HNP), down 3.1%, Suburban Propane Partners ( SPH), down 2.7%, American DG Energy ( ADGE), down 2.6%, and Empresa Distribuidora y Comercializadora No ( EDN), down 2.5%, were all laggards within the utilities sector with DTE Energy Holding Company ( DTE) being today's utilities sector laggard.

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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