3 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.

All three major indices are trading up today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 115 points (0.7%) at 16,388 as of Friday, Feb. 28, 2014, 11:55 AM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,987 issues advancing vs. 938 declining with 158 unchanged.

The Utilities sector currently sits up 0.5% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.6%. Top gainers within the sector include PG&E ( PCG), up 1.8%, Edison International ( EIX), up 1.2% and Praxair ( PX), up 0.7%.

TheStreet would like to highlight 3 stocks pushing the sector higher today:

3. Southern ( SO) is one of the companies pushing the Utilities sector higher today. As of noon trading, Southern is up $0.32 (0.8%) to $42.33 on light volume. Thus far, 1.3 million shares of Southern exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.7 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $41.92-$42.34 after having opened the day at $42.04 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $42.01.

The Southern Company, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a public electric utility company. Southern has a market cap of $37.0 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 2.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there is 1 analyst who rates Southern a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 10 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Southern as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, growth in earnings per share and increase in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins. Get the full Southern Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, Duke Energy Corporation ( DUK) is up $0.54 (0.8%) to $70.97 on light volume. Thus far, 856,626 shares of Duke Energy Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.0 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $70.35-$71.17 after having opened the day at $70.40 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $70.43.

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 $50.0 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 2.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 8 analysts who 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 revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins. 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.

1. As of noon trading, Exelon ( EXC) is up $0.29 (1.0%) to $30.46 on light volume. Thus far, 1.5 million shares of Exelon exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 7.6 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $30.25-$30.58 after having opened the day at $30.29 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $30.17.

Exelon Corporation, a utility services holding company, is engaged in the energy generation business in the United States. It operates through nine segments: Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, New England, New York, ERCOT, Other Regions, ComEd, PECO, and BGE. Exelon has a market cap of $26.1 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 10.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. 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 buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, attractive valuation levels, good cash flow from operations and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself. 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.

If you are interested in one of these 3 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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