Praxair Inc. (PX): Today's Featured Utilities Winner

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Praxair ( PX) 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, Praxair rose $1.31 (1.1%) to $121.41 on light volume. Throughout the day, 662,425 shares of Praxair exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1,138,400 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $119.86-$121.60 after having opened the day at $120.06 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $120.10. Other companies within the Utilities sector that increased today were: American DG Energy ( ADGE), up 6.6%, Pure Cycle Corporation ( PCYO), up 5.3%, Empresa Distribuidora y Comercializadora No ( EDN), up 3.3% and Dynegy ( DYN), up 2.3%.

Praxair, Inc. engages in the production, distribution, and sale atmospheric and process gases, as well as surface coatings in North America, Europe, South America, and Asia. Praxair has a market cap of $35.5 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. Shares are up 10.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 12 analysts that rate Praxair a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 5 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Praxair as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, expanding profit margins, growth in earnings per share, increase in stock price during the past year and increase in net income. 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, Beacon Power ( BCON), down 14.3%, U.S. Geothermal ( HTM), down 4.5%, Delta Natural Gas Company ( DGAS), down 2.8% and American Midstream Partners ( AMID), down 2.5%.

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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