American Water Works Co Inc (AWK): Today's Featured Utilities Winner

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

American Water Works ( AWK) pushed the Utilities sector higher today making it today's featured utilities winner. The sector as a whole was unchanged today. By the end of trading, American Water Works rose $0.65 (1.5%) to $43.17 on average volume. Throughout the day, 838,330 shares of American Water Works exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 862,400 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $42.57-$43.22 after having opened the day at $42.57 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $42.52. Other companies within the Utilities sector that increased today were: Beacon Power ( BCON), up 37.5%, China Hydroelectric Corporation ( CHC), up 4.8%, Fuelcell Energy ( FCEL), up 4.2% and American DG Energy ( ADGE), up 4.2%.

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 $7.5 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 14.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 13 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, CorEnergy Infrastructure ( CORR), down 11.8%, Just Energy Group ( JE), down 4.2%, Entergy ( ETR), down 3.3% and Delta Natural Gas Company ( DGAS), down 2.7% , were all laggards within the utilities sector with American Electric Power ( AEP) 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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