5 Utilities Stocks Pushing The 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 125 points (-0.8%) at 16,333 as of Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014, 11:55 AM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,733 issues advancing vs. 1,234 declining with 157 unchanged.

The Utilities sector currently sits up 0.3% versus the S&P 500, which is down 0.1%. A company within the sector that increased today was Edison International ( EIX), up 0.8%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras ( EBR.B), down 1.5%, and Empresa Nacional de Electricidad ( EOC), down 1.2%.

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

5. EQT ( EQT) is one of the companies pushing the Utilities sector higher today. As of noon trading, EQT is up $1.23 (1.4%) to $88.85 on light volume. Thus far, 198,604 shares of EQT exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.4 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $87.83-$89.11 after having opened the day at $87.83 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $87.62.

EQT Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, operates as an integrated energy company in the United States. It operates in three segments: EQT Production, EQT Midstream, and Distribution. EQT has a market cap of $13.2 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 40.9, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 2.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 8 analysts who rate EQT a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 5 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates EQT as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations, compelling growth in net income and solid stock price performance. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook. Get the full EQT Ratings Report now.

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4. As of noon trading, American Electric Power ( AEP) is up $0.24 (0.5%) to $47.01 on light volume. Thus far, 637,310 shares of American Electric Power exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.5 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $46.93-$47.18 after having opened the day at $46.93 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $46.77.

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 $22.8 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 19.6, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 0.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 10 analysts who rate American Electric Power a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 6 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, good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins 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 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.

3. As of noon trading, Duke Energy Corporation ( DUK) is up $0.63 (0.9%) to $68.20 on average volume. Thus far, 1.4 million shares of Duke Energy Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.1 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $67.77-$68.39 after having opened the day at $67.88 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $67.57.

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 $47.7 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 20.2, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 2.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 8 analysts who rate Duke Energy Corporation a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 6 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, growth in earnings per share and notable return on equity. 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 Duke 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.

2. As of noon trading, Exelon ( EXC) is up $0.14 (0.5%) to $27.34 on light volume. Thus far, 2.5 million shares of Exelon exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 8.2 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $27.24-$27.57 after having opened the day at $27.27 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $27.20.

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 $23.3 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.6, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 0.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are no analysts who rate Exelon a buy, 3 analysts rate it a sell, and 10 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Exelon as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its compelling growth in net income, attractive valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself and poor profit margins. 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.

1. As of noon trading, Southern ( SO) is up $0.22 (0.5%) to $41.38 on light volume. Thus far, 1.4 million shares of Southern exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.7 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $41.33-$41.54 after having opened the day at $41.35 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $41.16.

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. The company has a P/E ratio of 22.4, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 0.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are no analysts who rate Southern a buy, 1 analyst rates 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 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.

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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