NRG Energy Inc (NRG): Today's Featured Utilities Winner

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

NRG Energy ( NRG) pushed the Utilities sector higher today making it today's featured utilities winner. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.6%. By the end of trading, NRG Energy rose $0.46 (1.7%) to $27.61 on average volume. Throughout the day, 2,792,342 shares of NRG Energy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3,260,600 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $27.30-$27.71 after having opened the day at $27.34 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $27.15. Other companies within the Utilities sector that increased today were: Western Gas Equity Partners ( WGP), up 5.7%, Pure Cycle Corporation ( PCYO), up 4.8%, California Water Service Group ( CWT), up 4.7% and Atlantic Power Corporation ( AT), up 4.0%.
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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 $8.9 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 11.7, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 18.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 6 analysts that rate NRG Energy a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold.

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.

On the negative front, RGC Resources ( RGCO), down 2.9%, Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras ( EBR.B), down 2.6% and American Midstream Partners ( AMID), down 2.0% , were all laggards within the utilities sector with FirstEnergy ( FE) being today's utilities sector laggard.

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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