5 Utilities Stocks Moving The Sector Upward

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.

All three major indices are trading up today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 20 points (0.1%) at 14,984 as of Friday, Aug. 23, 2013, 12:50 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,794 issues advancing vs. 1,149 declining with 104 unchanged.

The Utilities sector currently sits up 0.3% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.2%. Top gainers within the sector include Companhia De Saneamento Basico Do Estado De ( SBS), up 2.2%, Empresa Nacional de ElectricidadSA ( EOC), up 1.4%, Consolidated Edison ( ED), up 0.9% and TransCanada ( TRP), up 0.6%.

TheStreet 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 $0.33 (0.8%) to $43.02 on average volume. Thus far, 2.3 million shares of American Electric Power exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.7 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $42.71-$43.36 after having opened the day at $42.81 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $42.69.

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 $20.6 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are down 0.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 7 analysts that rate American Electric Power a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 9 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 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 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, PPL ( PPL) is up $0.24 (0.8%) to $30.80 on light volume. Thus far, 1.1 million shares of PPL exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.2 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $30.45-$30.94 after having opened the day at $30.61 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $30.56.

PPL Corporation, an energy and utility holding company, engages in the generation, transmission, distribution, and sale of electricity to wholesale and retail customers in the United States and the United Kingdom. The company operates in four segments: Kentucky Regulated, U.K. PPL has a market cap of $19.2 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 6.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 3 analysts that rate PPL a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 9 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates PPL as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, increase in net income, good cash flow from operations, attractive valuation levels and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated. Get the full PPL 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, Dominion Resources ( D) is up $0.91 (1.6%) to $58.67 on average volume. Thus far, 1.2 million shares of Dominion Resources exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.9 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $57.61-$58.99 after having opened the day at $57.77 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $57.76.

Dominion Resources, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, engages in producing and transporting energy in the United States. The company operates through three segments: Dominion Virginia Power (DVP), Dominion Generation, and Dominion Energy. Dominion Resources has a market cap of $33.2 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 10.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 7 analysts that rate Dominion Resources a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 9 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Dominion Resources as a buy. The company's strongest point has been its a solid financial position based on a variety of debt and liquidity measures that we have looked at. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. Get the full Dominion Resources 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, Southern ( SO) is up $0.33 (0.8%) to $42.26 on light volume. Thus far, 1.4 million shares of Southern exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.6 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $41.85-$42.41 after having opened the day at $42.06 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $41.93.

The Southern Company, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a public electric utility company. Southern has a market cap of $36.3 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are down 2.0% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there is 1 analyst that rates Southern a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 12 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 expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself. 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.

1. As of noon trading, Exelon ( EXC) is up $0.21 (0.7%) to $30.93 on light volume. Thus far, 2.4 million shares of Exelon exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 6.9 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $30.59-$31.00 after having opened the day at $30.84 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $30.72.

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 $25.6 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 3.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 3 analysts that rate Exelon a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 14 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Exelon as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in net income, 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 a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, disappointing return on equity and weak operating cash flow. 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).

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