MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., April 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Energy companies face a challenging environment of overcapacity, unpredictable oil prices, protectionism, geopolitical tensions, high debt-to-GDP ratios, winding down of national stimulus initiatives, unemployment, and fluctuating currencies. To add value to shareholders, it is vital that utilities achieve excellence in financial and risk management through improved working capital management practices and greater focus on free cash flow generation. New analysis from Frost & Sullivan's ( http://www.financialservices.frost.com) Financial Assessment of the Power Systems Industry research reveals that oil and gas production as well as electric distribution companies exhibited the highest profitability. Grid distribution and multi-utilities, in particular, saw heightened activity. Other segments covered in the research include electric power transmission and control, natural gas transmission, oil and gas equipment, rig and service, and oil rig service companies. For more information on this analysis, please email Britni Myers, Corporate Communications, at email@example.com, with your full name, company name, job title, telephone number, company email address, company website, city, state and country. Frost & Sullivan conducted an extensive ratio analysis to rank the companies in the power sector on the basis of different financial and risk management parameters. The ratios of the leading companies ranked within the top 33 percent, indicating that sound financial management plays a key role in the success of a business. "High-performance enterprises diminish uncertainty in demand recovery and risks in customer refinancing through operative measures and customer partnerships," said Frost & Sullivan Business and Financial Services Analyst K. Vinod Cartic. "They follow supply chain management best practices to leverage the economies of scale and minimize raw material price volatility and procurement risks." Successful utilities use commodity derivatives to hedge raw material risks, and also reduce currency exchange fluctuation liabilities through local production. In addition, they employ derivative-based hedging to mitigate the risks of converting receivables and liabilities, as well as purchases and sales, in foreign currencies.