FirstEnergy Corp (FE): 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.

FirstEnergy ( FE) pushed the Utilities sector lower today making it today's featured Utilities laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.2%. By the end of trading, FirstEnergy fell $0.56 (-1.7%) to $31.70 on average volume. Throughout the day, 3,472,749 shares of FirstEnergy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4,388,400 shares. The stock ranged in price between $31.68-$32.43 after having opened the day at $32.23 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $32.26. Other companies within the Utilities sector that declined today were: 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%.

FirstEnergy Corp., a diversified energy holding company, engages in the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity in the United States. The company operates in Regulated Distribution, Regulated Transmission, and Competitive Energy Services segments. FirstEnergy has a market cap of $13.3 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are down 3.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 2 analysts that rate FirstEnergy a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 10 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates FirstEnergy as a hold. The company's strongest point has been its a solid financial position based on a variety of debt and liquidity measures that we have looked at. At the same time, however, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and poor profit margins.

On the positive front, 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% , were all gainers within the utilities sector with Ameren ( AEE) being today's featured utilities sector leader.

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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