Northeast Utilities (NU): 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.

Northeast Utilities ( NU) pushed the Utilities sector lower today making it today's featured Utilities laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day down 0.7%. By the end of trading, Northeast Utilities fell $0.47 (-1.1%) to $44.44 on average volume. Throughout the day, 1,888,125 shares of Northeast Utilities exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1,817,100 shares. The stock ranged in price between $44.36-$45.14 after having opened the day at $44.71 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $44.91. Other companies within the Utilities sector that declined today were: Atlantic Power Corporation ( AT), down 7.2%, Empresa Distribuidora y Comercializadora No ( EDN), down 6.2%, Ocean Power Technologies ( OPTT), down 4.6% and Transportadora de Gas del Sur ( TGS), down 4.0%.

Northeast Utilities, a public utility company, through its subsidiaries, engages in the energy delivery business. It operates in four segments: Electric Distribution, Electric Transmission, Natural Gas Distribution, and Other. Northeast Utilities has a market cap of $14.2 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 5.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 9 analysts that rate Northeast Utilities a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Northeast Utilities as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, 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 shows low profit margins.

On the positive front, U.S. Geothermal ( HTM), up 6.9%, CPFL Energy ( CPL), up 5.4%, Cadiz ( CDZI), up 4.5% and Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras ( EBR), up 2.0%.

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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