3 Stocks Pulling The Utilities Sector Downward

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 up today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 64 points (0.4%) at 14,866 as of Thursday, April 11, 2013, 12:55 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,808 issues advancing vs. 1,100 declining with 140 unchanged.

The Utilities sector currently sits up 0.2% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.4%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras ( EBR.B), down 2.82, Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras ( EBR), down 2.53 and AmeriGas Partners ( APU), down 1.90. Top gainers within the sector include Korea Electric Power ( KEP), up 2.4%, Edison International ( EIX), up 1.2%, FirstEnergy ( FE), up 1.0% and Duke Energy Corporation ( DUK), up 0.9%.

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 $0.24 (-1.1%) to $21.69 on light volume Thus far, 118,353 shares of CPFL Energy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 428,400 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $21.63-$21.92 after having opened the day at $21.88 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $21.93.

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 $10.6 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 17.1, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 4.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates CPFL Energy as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth and notable return on equity. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including feeble growth in the company's earnings per share, deteriorating net income and generally higher debt management risk. 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 $0.63 (-1.3%) to $47.00 on heavy volume Thus far, 558,500 shares of Companhia De Saneamento Basico Do Estado De exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 542,700 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $46.94-$47.52 after having opened the day at $47.32 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $47.63.

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 $10.7 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 20.5, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 14.0% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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 solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth and compelling growth in net income. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook. Get the full Companhia De Saneamento Basico Do Estado De Ratings Report now.

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1. As of noon trading, NiSource ( NI) is down $0.24 (-0.8%) to $30.42 on average volume Thus far, 849,056 shares of NiSource exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.1 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $30.41-$30.78 after having opened the day at $30.72 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $30.66.

NiSource Inc., an energy holding company, through its subsidiaries, provides natural gas, electricity, and other products and services. It operates in three segments: Gas Distribution Operations, Gas Transmission and Storage Operations, and Electric Operations. NiSource has a market cap of $9.4 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 22.0, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 23.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates NiSource as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, good cash flow from operations and notable return on equity. 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 NiSource 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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