5 Utilities Stocks Moving The Sector Upward

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 52 points (-0.4%) at 14,567 as of Thursday, April 18, 2013, 12:45 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,288 issues advancing vs. 1,600 declining with 135 unchanged.

The Utilities sector currently sits up 0.1% versus the S&P 500, which is down 0.48. Top gainers within the sector include ONEOK ( OKE), up 1.2%, TransCanada ( TRP), up 0.7% and Korea Electric Power ( KEP), up 0.6%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras ( EBR), down 4.01, and Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras ( EBR.B), down 3.20.

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

5. CenterPoint Energy ( CNP) is one of the companies pushing the Utilities sector higher today. As of noon trading, CenterPoint Energy is up $0.22 (0.93) to $23.79 on light volume Thus far, 1.3 million shares of CenterPoint Energy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.6 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $23.56-$23.80 after having opened the day at $23.58 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $23.57.

CenterPoint Energy, Inc. operates as a public utility holding company in the United States. CenterPoint Energy has a market cap of $10.2 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 24.6, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 22.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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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4. As of noon trading, Entergy ( ETR) is up $0.91 (1.32) to $70.11 on average volume Thus far, 685,801 shares of Entergy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.2 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $69.53-$70.35 after having opened the day at $69.53 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $69.20.

Entergy Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, engages in the electric power production and retail electric distribution operations in the United States. The company generates electricity through various sources, such as gas/oil, nuclear, coal, and hydro power. Entergy has a market cap of $12.4 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.6, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 8.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Entergy as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in net income, attractive valuation levels and increase in stock price during the past year. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including generally higher debt management risk, weak operating cash flow and disappointing return on equity. Get the full Entergy Ratings Report now.

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3. As of noon trading, NRG Energy ( NRG) is up $0.22 (0.83) to $26.62 on average volume Thus far, 1.4 million shares of NRG Energy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.4 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $26.23-$26.68 after having opened the day at $26.44 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $26.40.

NRG Energy, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates as an integrated wholesale power generation and retail electricity company. The company engages in the ownership, development, construction, expansion, modification, refurbishment, and operation of power generation facilities. NRG Energy has a market cap of $8.7 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 11.4, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 14.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates NRG Energy as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, compelling growth in net income, attractive valuation levels, notable return on equity and impressive record of earnings per share growth. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow. Get the full NRG Energy Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, EQT ( EQT) is up $1.06 (1.61) to $67.14 on average volume Thus far, 653,929 shares of EQT exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.5 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $65.58-$67.30 after having opened the day at $66.33 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $66.08.

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 54.8, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 12.0% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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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1. As of noon trading, Exelon ( EXC) is up $0.26 (0.73) to $36.34 on average volume Thus far, 2.8 million shares of Exelon exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 7.2 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $35.96-$36.45 after having opened the day at $36.19 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $36.07.

Exelon Corporation, a utility services holding company, engages in the energy generation and distribution business in the United States. Exelon has a market cap of $30.8 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 25.4, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 21.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Exelon as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and poor profit margins. Get the full Exelon Ratings Report now.

Exclusive Offer: Jim Cramer's 'go-to' small/mid-cap guru Bryan Ashenberg only buys stocks he thinks could return 50-100%. See his top picks for 14-days FREE.

If you are interested in one of these 5 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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