Duke Energy Corporation (DUK): Today's Featured Utilities Laggard

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.

Duke Energy Corporation ( DUK) pushed the Utilities sector lower today making it today's featured Utilities laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day down 1.0%. By the end of trading, Duke Energy Corporation fell $0.94 (-1.4%) to $68.33 on average volume. Throughout the day, 3,466,002 shares of Duke Energy Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3,039,600 shares. The stock ranged in price between $68.29-$69.27 after having opened the day at $69.27 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $69.27. Other companies within the Utilities sector that declined today were: American Midstream Partners ( AMID), down 5.5%, Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras ( EBR.B), down 4.4%, Huaneng Power International Inc. ADR repr C ( HNP), down 4.0% and Fuelcell Energy ( FCEL), down 3.9%.

Duke Energy Corporation operates as an energy company in the United States and Latin America. The company operates in three segments: U.S. Franchised Electric and Gas, Commercial Power, and International Energy. The U.S. Duke Energy Corporation has a market cap of $49.3 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 20.8, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 8.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 8 analysts that rate Duke Energy Corporation a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 5 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Duke Energy Corporation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its compelling growth in net income, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations, increase in stock price during the past year and growth in earnings per share. 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 positive front, China Hydroelectric Corporation ( CHC), up 3.9%, U.S. Geothermal ( HTM), up 2.6%, Cadiz ( CDZI), up 1.7% and Pattern Energy Group ( PEGI), up 1.5%.

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).

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.
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