5 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

All three major indices are trading down today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading down 22 points (-0.2%) at 14,556 as of Monday, April 1, 2013, 12:50 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 762 issues advancing vs. 2,184 declining with 121 unchanged.

The Utilities sector currently sits down 0.6% versus the S&P 500, which is down 0.6%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Companhia De Saneamento Basico Do Estado De ( SBS), down 1.7%, American Water Works ( AWK), down 1.2%, Calpine ( CPN), down 1.0%, AES ( AES), down 1.0% and Wisconsin Energy Corporation ( WEC), down 1.0%. Top gainers within the sector include Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras ( EBR), up 2.6%, Energy Company of Parana ( ELP), up 1.0% and Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras ( EBR.B), up 0.8%.

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

5. EQT ( EQT) is one of the companies pushing the Utilities sector lower today. As of noon trading, EQT is down $0.75 (-1.1%) to $67.00 on light volume Thus far, 423,410 shares of EQT exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.5 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $66.51-$68.27 after having opened the day at $67.94 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $67.75.

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 $10.2 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 55.5, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 14.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. 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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4. As of noon trading, Public Service Enterprise Group ( PEG) is down $0.30 (-0.9%) to $34.04 on light volume Thus far, 844,020 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 $34.01-$34.33 after having opened the day at $34.27 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $34.34.

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 $17.4 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.7, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 12.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. 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 solid stock price performance 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, FirstEnergy ( FE) is down $0.20 (-0.5%) to $42.00 on light volume Thus far, 550,675 shares of FirstEnergy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.5 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $41.92-$42.20 after having opened the day at $42.20 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $42.20.

FirstEnergy Corp., a diversified energy holding company, engages in the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity in the United States. The company operates in Regulated Distribution, Regulated Transmission, and Competitive Energy Services segments. FirstEnergy has a market cap of $17.6 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 22.9, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 1.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 2 analysts that rate FirstEnergy a buy, 1 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. Get the full FirstEnergy Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, Southern ( SO) is down $0.26 (-0.6%) to $46.66 on light volume Thus far, 945,179 shares of Southern exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.4 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $46.57-$46.84 after having opened the day at $46.78 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $46.92.

The Southern Company, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a public electric utility company. Southern has a market cap of $40.8 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 17.6, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 9.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there is 1 analyst that rates Southern a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 11 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Southern as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its growth in earnings per share, increase in net income, revenue growth, notable return on equity and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow. Get the full Southern Ratings Report now.

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1. As of noon trading, Duke Energy Corporation ( DUK) is down $0.40 (-0.5%) to $72.20 on light volume Thus far, 644,989 shares of Duke Energy Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.9 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $72.07-$72.57 after having opened the day at $72.57 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $72.59.

Duke Energy Corporation operates as an energy company in the United States and Latin America. The company operates in three segments: U.S. Franchised Electric and Gas, Commercial Power, and International Energy. The U.S. Duke Energy Corporation has a market cap of $51.2 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 23.6, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 13.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 6 analysts that rate Duke Energy Corporation a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 11 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Duke Energy Corporation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, increase in net income, good cash flow from operations, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity. Get the full Duke Energy Corporation Ratings Report now.

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If you are interested in one of these 4 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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