3 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 down today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading down 45 points (-0.3%) at 14,466 as of Thursday, March 21, 2013, 12:44 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,235 issues advancing vs. 1,661 declining with 139 unchanged.

The Utilities sector currently sits down 0.2% versus the S&P 500, which is down 0.4%. A company within the sector that increased today was National Electricity Company of Chile ( EOC), up 1.5%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras ( EBR), down 3.1%, and Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras ( EBR.B), down 2.6%.

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

3. OGE Energy ( OGE) is one of the companies pushing the Utilities sector higher today. As of noon trading, OGE Energy is up $0.58 (0.9%) to $68.20 on average volume Thus far, 259,372 shares of OGE Energy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 500,700 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $67.21-$68.39 after having opened the day at $67.51 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $67.62.

OGE Energy Corp., together with its subsidiaries, operates as an energy and energy services provider that offers physical delivery and related services for electricity and natural gas primarily in the south central United States. OGE Energy has a market cap of $6.7 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 18.9, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 18.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 6 analysts that rate OGE Energy a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 2 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates OGE 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, good cash flow from operations, growth in earnings per share and reasonable valuation levels. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated. Get the full OGE Energy Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, Calpine ( CPN) is up $0.14 (0.7%) to $20.42 on light volume Thus far, 615,070 shares of Calpine exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.9 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $20.30-$20.48 after having opened the day at $20.34 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $20.28.

Calpine Corporation, a wholesale power generation company, owns and operates natural gas-fired and geothermal power plants in North America. It operates natural gas-fired combustion turbines and renewable geothermal conventional steam turbines, as well as cogeneration power plants. Calpine has a market cap of $9.2 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 48.0, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 11.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 6 analysts that rate Calpine a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Calpine as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its poor profit margins, weak operating cash flow and generally high debt management risk. Get the full Calpine Ratings Report now.

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1. As of noon trading, CenterPoint Energy ( CNP) is up $0.28 (1.2%) to $23.40 on average volume Thus far, 1.9 million shares of CenterPoint Energy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.5 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $22.95-$23.44 after having opened the day at $23.00 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $23.12.

CenterPoint Energy, Inc. operates as a public utility holding company in the United States. CenterPoint Energy has a market cap of $9.9 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 23.8, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 19.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 6 analysts that rate CenterPoint Energy a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 7 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates CenterPoint 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, growth in earnings per share and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated. Get the full CenterPoint Energy Ratings Report now.

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If you are interested in one of these 3 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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