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

Two out of the three major indices are trading up today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 24 points (0.2%) at 14,421 as of Monday, March 11, 2013, 12:45 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,375 issues advancing vs. 1,531 declining with 142 unchanged.

The Utilities sector currently sits down 0.1% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.1%. A company within the sector that increased today was Ameren ( AEE), up 1.1%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras ( EBR.B), down 1.9%, and Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras ( EBR), down 1.1%.

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

5. Sempra Energy ( SRE) is one of the companies pushing the Utilities sector higher today. As of noon trading, Sempra Energy is up $0.41 (0.5%) to $79.06 on light volume Thus far, 274,828 shares of Sempra Energy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 936,900 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $78.45-$79.22 after having opened the day at $78.54 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $78.65.

Sempra Energy, through its subsidiaries, operates as an energy services company. The company's San Diego Gas & Electric Company segment is involved in the generation, transmission, and distribution electricity; and sale, distribution, and transportation of natural gas in California. Sempra Energy has a market cap of $19.1 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 22.6, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 10.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 5 analysts that rate Sempra Energy a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Sempra Energy as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, increase in net income, revenue growth and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins. Get the full Sempra Energy Ratings Report now.

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4. As of noon trading, Public Service Enterprise Group ( PEG) is up $0.17 (0.5%) to $32.86 on light volume Thus far, 819,062 shares of Public Service Enterprise Group exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.1 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $32.62-$32.87 after having opened the day at $32.69 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $32.69.

Public Service Enterprise Group Incorporated, through its subsidiaries, operates as an energy company primarily in the northeastern and mid Atlantic United States. Public Service Enterprise Group has a market cap of $16.5 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.0, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 6.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there is 1 analyst that rates Public Service Enterprise Group a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 8 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Public Service Enterprise Group as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in stock price during the past year and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat weak growth in earnings per share. Get the full Public Service Enterprise Group Ratings Report now.

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3. As of noon trading, Dominion Resources ( D) is up $0.31 (0.6%) to $56.18 on average volume Thus far, 769,523 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 $55.87-$56.30 after having opened the day at $55.92 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $55.87.

Dominion Resources, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, engages in producing and transporting energy in the United States. The company operates through three segments: DVP, Dominion Generation, and Dominion Energy. Dominion Resources has a market cap of $32.2 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 98.0, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 7.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. 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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2. As of noon trading, NRG Energy ( NRG) is up $0.27 (1.1%) to $25.15 on light volume Thus far, 1.2 million shares of NRG Energy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.6 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $24.83-$25.28 after having opened the day at $24.88 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $24.88.

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 $8.0 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 10.5, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 8.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. 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, compelling growth in net income and attractive valuation levels. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that we feel that the company's cash flow from its operations has been weak overall. Get the full NRG Energy Ratings Report now.

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1. As of noon trading, Exelon ( EXC) is up $0.25 (0.8%) to $32.38 on light volume Thus far, 2.8 million shares of Exelon exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 7.7 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $32.01-$32.46 after having opened the day at $32.04 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $32.13.

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 $27.2 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 22.4, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 8.0% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 3 analysts that rate Exelon a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 14 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 5 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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