Praxair Inc. (PX): 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.

Praxair ( PX) pushed the Utilities sector lower today making it today's featured Utilities laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day down 0.2%. By the end of trading, Praxair fell $1.77 (-1.4%) to $129.46 on light volume. Throughout the day, 844,482 shares of Praxair exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1,316,600 shares. The stock ranged in price between $129.39-$132.25 after having opened the day at $132.05 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $131.23. Other companies within the Utilities sector that declined today were: Ocean Power Technologies ( OPTT), down 19.7%, U.S. Geothermal ( HTM), down 4.6%, Pure Cycle Corporation ( PCYO), down 4.2% and Fuelcell Energy ( FCEL), down 4.0%.

Praxair, Inc. produces, sells, and distributes atmospheric, process, and specialty gases, as well as surface coatings in North America, Europe, South America, and Asia. Praxair has a market cap of $38.6 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. Shares are up 0.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 9 analysts that rate Praxair a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Praxair as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its growth in earnings per share, revenue growth, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated.

On the positive front, GreenHunter Resources ( GRH), up 4.9%, Cosan ( CZZ), up 2.9%, Energy Company of Parana ( ELP), up 2.8% and Companhia De Saneamento Basico Do Estado De ( SBS), up 2.4% , were all gainers within the utilities sector with Exelon ( EXC) 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).

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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