5 Stocks Boosting The Utilities Sector Higher

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.

Two out of the three major indices are trading lower today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading down 22 points (-0.1%) at 16,065 as of Monday, Dec. 2, 2013, 11:45 AM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,030 issues advancing vs. 1,883 declining with 116 unchanged.

The Utilities sector currently sits down 0.3% versus the S&P 500, which is unchanged. A company within the sector that increased today was UGI Corporation ( UGI), up 1.5%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras ( EBR.B), down 1.8%, Energy Company of Minas Gerais ( CIG), down 1.1%, Huaneng Power International Inc. ADR repr C ( HNP), down 0.7% and PPL ( PPL), down 0.5%.

TheStreet would like to highlight 5 stocks pushing the sector higher today:

5. Alliant Energy Corporation ( LNT) is one of the companies pushing the Utilities sector higher today. As of noon trading, Alliant Energy Corporation is up $0.40 (0.8%) to $51.90 on average volume. Thus far, 214,196 shares of Alliant Energy Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 554,400 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $51.13-$52.00 after having opened the day at $51.62 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $51.50.

Alliant Energy Corporation, a utility holding company, provides regulated electricity and natural gas services to residential, commercial, and industrial customers in the Midwest region of the United States. Alliant Energy Corporation has a market cap of $5.7 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 15.5, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 17.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 6 analysts that rate Alliant Energy Corporation a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 2 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Alliant Energy Corporation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its growth in earnings per share, attractive valuation levels, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow. Get the full Alliant Energy Corporation 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, Westar Energy ( WR) is up $0.36 (1.1%) to $31.72 on average volume. Thus far, 659,301 shares of Westar Energy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.0 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $31.45-$31.78 after having opened the day at $31.77 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $31.36.

Westar Energy, Inc., an electric utility, engages in the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity in Kansas. Westar Energy has a market cap of $4.0 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.6, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 10.0% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 5 analysts that rate Westar Energy a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Westar Energy as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its notable return on equity, increase in stock price during the past year and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. Get the full Westar Energy 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, Calpine ( CPN) is up $0.17 (0.9%) to $19.08 on light volume. Thus far, 735,193 shares of Calpine exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $18.80-$19.14 after having opened the day at $18.87 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $18.91.

Calpine Corporation, a wholesale power generation company, owns and operates natural gas-fired and geothermal power plants in North America. It operates natural gas-fired combustion turbines and renewable geothermal conventional steam turbines, as well as cogeneration power plants. Calpine has a market cap of $8.2 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 41.2, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 4.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 8 analysts that rate Calpine a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Calpine as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its unimpressive growth in net income, generally high debt management risk, weak operating cash flow and feeble growth in its earnings per share. Get the full Calpine 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, Ameren ( AEE) is up $0.20 (0.6%) to $36.05 on light volume. Thus far, 402,830 shares of Ameren exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.6 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $35.56-$36.08 after having opened the day at $35.93 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $35.85.

Ameren Corporation operates as a public utility holding company in the United States. It operates in three segments: Ameren Missouri, Ameren Illinois, and Merchant Generation. Ameren has a market cap of $8.7 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 17.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 2 analysts that rate Ameren a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 7 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Ameren as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its expanding profit margins, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. Get the full Ameren 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, NRG Energy ( NRG) is up $0.37 (1.4%) to $26.83 on light volume. Thus far, 769,617 shares of NRG Energy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.4 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $26.34-$26.97 after having opened the day at $26.46 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $26.46.

NRG Energy, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates as an integrated wholesale power generation and retail electricity company. The company engages in the ownership, development, construction, expansion, modification, refurbishment, and operation of power generation facilities. NRG Energy has a market cap of $8.6 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.7, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 15.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 6 analysts that rate NRG Energy a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates NRG Energy as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, increase in stock price during the past year, reasonable valuation levels, good cash flow from operations and compelling growth 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. Get the full NRG Energy 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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