Northeast Utilities (NU): Today's Featured Utilities Winner

Northeast Utilities ( NU) pushed the Utilities sector higher today making it today's featured utilities winner. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.8%. By the end of trading, Northeast Utilities rose $0.48 (1.2%) to $41.74 on average volume. Throughout the day, 1,834,737 shares of Northeast Utilities exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1,393,900 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $41.45-$42.26 after having opened the day at $41.50 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $41.26. Other companies within the Utilities sector that increased today were: TransAlta Corporation ( TAC), up 10.4%, U.S. Geothermal ( HTM), up 8.2%, Fuelcell Energy ( FCEL), up 4.8% and Huaneng Power International ( HNP), up 4.8%.

Northeast Utilities, a public utility company, through its subsidiaries, engages in the energy delivery business. It operates in four segments: Electric Distribution, Electric Transmission, Natural Gas Distribution, and Other. Northeast Utilities has a market cap of $12.8 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 19.8, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 5.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 8 analysts that rate Northeast Utilities a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Northeast Utilities as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, compelling growth in net income, good cash flow from operations, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.

On the negative front, Beacon Power ( BCON), down 14.3%, GreenHunter Resources ( GRH), down 12.9%, Cadiz ( CDZI), down 2.5% and Just Energy Group ( JE), down 2.3%.

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).

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

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