American Water Works Co Inc (AWK): Today's Featured Utilities Laggard

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

American Water Works ( AWK) pushed the Utilities sector lower today making it today's featured Utilities laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.6%. By the end of trading, American Water Works fell $0.44 (-1.1%) to $41.16 on average volume. Throughout the day, 1,094,005 shares of American Water Works exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 883,500 shares. The stock ranged in price between $40.96-$41.67 after having opened the day at $41.66 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $41.60. Other companies within the Utilities sector that declined today were: GreenHunter Energy ( GRH), down 4.0%, Ocean Power Technologies ( OPTT), down 3.1%, Fuelcell Energy ( FCEL), down 2.9% and PVR Partners ( PVR), down 2.8%.
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American Water Works Company, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides water and wastewater services in the United States and Canada. The company's Regulated Businesses segment offers water and wastewater services to approximately 1,500 communities in 16 states. American Water Works has a market cap of $7.5 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 19.9, 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 Monday.

TheStreet Ratings rates American Water Works as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance, expanding profit margins and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

On the positive front, Pure Cycle Corporation ( PCYO), down 6.7%, Just Energy Group ( JE), down 5.3%, Energy Company of Parana ( ELP), down 4.2% and Niska Gas Storage Partners ( NKA), down 3.7% , were all gainers within the utilities sector with AES ( AES) being today's featured utilities sector leader.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, 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).

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