3 Utilities Stocks Nudging The 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 68 points (-0.5%) at 14,443 as of Monday, March 25, 2013, 12:50 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,111 issues advancing vs. 1,777 declining with 156 unchanged.

The Utilities sector currently sits down 0.2% versus the S&P 500, which is down 0.3%. A company within the sector that increased today was CPFL Energy ( CPL), up 1.2%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Korea Electric Power ( KEP), down 1.8%, Entergy ( ETR), down 1.3% and National Electricity Company of Chile ( EOC), down 0.7%.

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

3. Companhia De Saneamento Basico Do Estado De ( SBS) is one of the companies pushing the Utilities sector higher today. As of noon trading, Companhia De Saneamento Basico Do Estado De is up $0.74 (1.6%) to $45.90 on average volume Thus far, 261,015 shares of Companhia De Saneamento Basico Do Estado De exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 529,200 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $45.47-$46.17 after having opened the day at $45.62 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $45.16.

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 $10.2 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 19.5, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 6.3% 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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2. As of noon trading, ONEOK ( OKE) is up $0.22 (0.5%) to $46.44 on light volume Thus far, 455,715 shares of ONEOK exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.3 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $46.30-$46.84 after having opened the day at $46.43 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $46.22.

ONEOK, Inc. operates as a diversified energy company in the United States. The company operates in three segments: ONEOK Partners, Natural Gas Distribution, and Energy Services. ONEOK has a market cap of $9.4 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 28.0, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 7.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 8 analysts that rate ONEOK a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 2 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates ONEOK as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its notable return on equity 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 ONEOK Ratings Report now.

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1. As of noon trading, EQT ( EQT) is up $0.56 (0.8%) to $67.45 on light volume Thus far, 535,240 shares of EQT exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.5 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $66.96-$68.44 after having opened the day at $67.00 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $66.89.

EQT Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, operates as an integrated energy company in the United States. It operates in three segments: EQT Production, EQT Midstream, and Distribution. EQT has a market cap of $10.1 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 55.1, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 13.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 9 analysts that rate EQT a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates EQT as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, expanding profit margins 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 EQT 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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