American Water Works Co Inc (AWK): 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

American Water Works ( AWK) pushed the Utilities sector higher today making it today's featured utilities winner. The sector as a whole closed the day down 0.9%. By the end of trading, American Water Works rose $0.63 (1.6%) to $40.49 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 1,811,321 shares of American Water Works exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 837,400 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $40.29-$40.72 after having opened the day at $40.30 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $39.86. Other companies within the Utilities sector that increased today were: Consolidated Water Company ( CWCO), up 4.3%, Beacon Power ( BCON), up 3.8%, Summit Midstream Partners ( SMLP), up 2.6% and GreenHunter Resources ( GRH), up 1.7%.
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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 $7.1 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 18.5, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 7.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 12 analysts that rate American Water Works a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates American Water Works as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, growth in earnings per share, compelling growth in net income, expanding profit margins 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.

On the negative front, Empresa Distribuidora y Comercializadora No ( EDN), down 5.2%, American DG Energy ( ADGE), down 4.0%, Just Energy Group ( JE), down 3.2% and Energy Company of Parana ( ELP), down 3.2% , were all laggards within the utilities sector with Exelon ( EXC) 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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