5 Utilities Stocks Nudging The Sector Higher

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

One out of the three major indices are trading up today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 13 points (0.1%) at 15,338 as of Friday, May 31, 2013, 12:50 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 963 issues advancing vs. 1,995 declining with 88 unchanged.

The Utilities sector currently is unchanged today versus the S&P 500, which is down 0.09. Top gainers within the sector include Sempra Energy ( SRE), up 1.6%, Entergy ( ETR), up 1.2% and PG&E ( PCG), up 0.9%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras ( EBR), down 4.89, and Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras ( EBR.B), down 2.45.

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

5. American Electric Power ( AEP) is one of the companies pushing the Utilities sector higher today. As of noon trading, American Electric Power is up $0.26 (0.56) to $46.35 on average volume Thus far, 1.3 million shares of American Electric Power exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.7 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $45.77-$46.71 after having opened the day at $45.97 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $46.09.

American Electric Power Company, Inc., a public utility holding company, engages in the generation, transmission, and distribution of electric power to retail customers. The company generates electricity using coal and lignite, natural gas, nuclear energy, and hydroelectric energy. American Electric Power has a market cap of $22.5 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 18.1, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 8.0% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 5 analysts that rate American Electric Power a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 10 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates American Electric Power as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance and reasonable valuation levels. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. Get the full American Electric Power Ratings Report now.

3x UPSIDE POTENTIAL: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

4. As of noon trading, NextEra Energy ( NEE) is up $0.72 (0.95) to $76.43 on average volume Thus far, 832,622 shares of NextEra Energy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.7 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $75.33-$77.13 after having opened the day at $75.41 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $75.71.

NextEra Energy, Inc., through its subsidiaries, engages in the generation, transmission, distribution, and sale of electric energy in the United States and Canada. The company is involved in the generation of renewable energy from wind and solar projects. NextEra Energy has a market cap of $32.2 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 16.3, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 9.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 9 analysts that rate NextEra Energy a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 7 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates NextEra Energy as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. Get the full NextEra Energy Ratings Report now.

3x UPSIDE POTENTIAL: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

3. As of noon trading, Southern ( SO) is up $0.30 (0.68) to $44.43 on average volume Thus far, 2.3 million shares of Southern exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.9 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $43.94-$44.74 after having opened the day at $44.01 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $44.13.

The Southern Company, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a public electric utility company. Southern has a market cap of $38.5 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 18.9, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 3.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 2 analysts that rate Southern a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 9 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Southern as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. Get the full Southern Ratings Report now.

3x UPSIDE POTENTIAL: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

2. As of noon trading, Duke Energy Corporation ( DUK) is up $0.50 (0.75) to $67.82 on average volume Thus far, 1.7 million shares of Duke Energy Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $67.04-$68.50 after having opened the day at $67.19 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $67.31.

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 $47.4 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 20.3, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 5.5% 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. Get the full Duke Energy Corporation Ratings Report now.

3x UPSIDE POTENTIAL: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

1. As of noon trading, Exelon ( EXC) is up $0.16 (0.51) to $31.66 on average volume Thus far, 2.6 million shares of Exelon exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 6.6 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $31.46-$31.95 after having opened the day at $31.56 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $31.50.

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 $27.1 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 28.0, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 6.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 2 analysts that rate Exelon a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 15 rate it a hold.

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.

3x UPSIDE POTENTIAL: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

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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