Duke Energy Corporation (DUK): 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

Duke Energy Corporation ( DUK) pushed the Utilities sector lower today making it today's featured Utilities laggard. The sector as a whole was unchanged today. By the end of trading, Duke Energy Corporation fell $0.88 (-1.3%) to $68.88 on average volume. Throughout the day, 2,777,624 shares of Duke Energy Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2,816,500 shares. The stock ranged in price between $68.68-$69.67 after having opened the day at $69.49 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $69.76. Other companies within the Utilities sector that declined today were: Empresa Distribuidora y Comercializadora No ( EDN), down 8.6%, American DG Energy ( ADGE), down 2.9%, China Hydroelectric Corporation ( CHC), down 2.6% and Enersis ( ENI), down 2.4%.
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Duke Energy Corporation operates as an energy company in the United States and Latin America. The company operates in three segments: U.S. Franchised Electric and Gas, Commercial Power, and International Energy. The U.S. Duke Energy Corporation has a market cap of $49.5 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 21.2, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 10.0% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 7 analysts that rate Duke Energy Corporation a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 9 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Duke Energy Corporation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, good cash flow from operations, compelling growth in net income, growth in earnings per share and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.

On the positive front, Beacon Power ( BCON), down 31.6%, Fuelcell Energy ( FCEL), down 28.8%, U.S. Geothermal ( HTM), down 6.8% and GreenHunter Energy ( GRH), down 4.6%.

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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