3 Stocks Pushing The Utilities Sector Lower

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

One out of the three major indices are trading lower 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%. 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%. A company within the sector that increased today was Ameren ( AEE), up 1.1%.

TheStreet Ratings group would like to highlight 3 stocks pushing the sector lower today:

3. CPFL Energy ( CPL) is one of the companies pushing the Utilities sector lower today. As of noon trading, CPFL Energy is down $0.16 (-0.7%) to $21.35 on light volume Thus far, 113,096 shares of CPFL Energy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 463,400 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $21.35-$21.56 after having opened the day at $21.56 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $21.51.

CPFL Energia S.A., through its subsidiaries, engages in the generation, distribution, and sale of electric energy in Brazil. It generates electricity through hydroelectric, thermoelectric, sugarcane biomass, and wind power plants. CPFL Energy has a market cap of $10.4 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 17.0, below 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 Friday. Currently there are no analysts that rate CPFL Energy a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 2 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates CPFL Energy as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, increase in net income and notable return on equity. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including generally higher debt management risk, poor profit margins and weak operating cash flow. Get the full CPFL Energy Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, Companhia De Saneamento Basico Do Estado De ( SBS) is down $0.59 (-1.2%) to $48.04 on light volume Thus far, 155,928 shares of Companhia De Saneamento Basico Do Estado De exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 557,000 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $47.85-$49.05 after having opened the day at $48.99 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $48.63.

Companhia de Saneamento Basico do Estado de S o Paulo SABESP provides basic and environmental sanitation services; and supplies treated water on a wholesale basis to residential, commercial, industrial, and governmental customers in the State of S o Paulo. Companhia De Saneamento Basico Do Estado De has a market cap of $11.0 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 20.9, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 16.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there is 1 analyst that rates Companhia De Saneamento Basico Do Estado De a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold.

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

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1. As of noon trading, PPL ( PPL) is down $0.36 (-1.2%) to $30.28 on average volume Thus far, 2.9 million shares of PPL exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.0 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $30.14-$30.44 after having opened the day at $30.26 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $30.64.

PPL Corporation, an energy and utility holding company, engages in the generation, transmission, distribution, and sale of electricity to wholesale and retail customers in the United States and the United Kingdom. PPL has a market cap of $17.8 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 11.7, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 7.0% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 4 analysts that rate PPL a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates PPL as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its notable return on equity, 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 somewhat weak growth in earnings per share. Get the full PPL 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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