Ameren Corp (AEE): Today's Featured Utilities Winner

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.

Ameren ( AEE) pushed the Utilities sector higher today making it today's featured utilities winner. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.2%. By the end of trading, Ameren rose $2.07 (5.3%) to $40.88 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 5,256,261 shares of Ameren exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1,579,500 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $39.92-$42.24 after having opened the day at $41.00 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $38.81. Other companies within the Utilities sector that increased today were: Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras ( EBR.B), up 3.2%, WGL Holdings ( WGL), up 2.5%, Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras ( EBR), up 2.4% and Cosan ( CZZ), up 2.4%.

Ameren Corporation operates as a public utility holding company in the United States. The company is engaged in rate-regulated electric generation, transmission, and distribution businesses; and rate-regulated natural gas transmission and distribution businesses. Ameren has a market cap of $9.3 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 5.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 3 analysts that rate Ameren a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 5 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 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.

On the negative front, Ocean Power Technologies ( OPTT), down 5.5%, Atlantic Power Corporation ( AT), down 2.6%, Fuelcell Energy ( FCEL), down 1.8% and Summit Midstream Partners ( SMLP), down 1.6% , were all laggards within the utilities sector with FirstEnergy ( FE) being today's utilities sector laggard.

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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