3 Utilities Stocks On The Rise

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.

One out of the three major indices are trading lower today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading down 3 points (0.0%) at 16,578 as of Thursday, May 1, 2014, 12:55 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,778 issues advancing vs. 1,187 declining with 180 unchanged.

The Utilities sector currently is unchanged today versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.1%.

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

3. NRG Energy ( NRG) is one of the companies pushing the Utilities sector higher today. As of noon trading, NRG Energy is up $0.63 (1.9%) to $33.35 on average volume. Thus far, 1.6 million shares of NRG Energy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.6 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $32.83-$33.37 after having opened the day at $32.83 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $32.72.

NRG Energy, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates as a power and energy company. The company is engaged in the ownership and operation of power generation facilities. NRG Energy has a market cap of $10.7 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 13.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 6 analysts who rate NRG Energy a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates NRG Energy as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, good cash flow from operations and increase in stock price during the past year. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and poor profit margins. Get the full NRG Energy Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, PPL ( PPL) is up $0.79 (2.4%) to $34.13 on heavy volume. Thus far, 4.0 million shares of PPL exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.6 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $33.30-$34.15 after having opened the day at $33.39 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $33.34.

PPL Corporation, an energy and utility holding company, generates, transmits, distributes, and sells electricity to wholesale and retail customers in the Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Virginia, Tennessee, and the United Kingdom. The company operates in four segments: Kentucky Regulated, U.K. PPL has a market cap of $21.1 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 18.6, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 10.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 4 analysts who rate PPL a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 7 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates PPL as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its expanding profit margins, reasonable valuation levels 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. Get the full PPL 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 $1.10 (3.1%) to $36.13 on heavy volume. Thus far, 6.4 million shares of Exelon exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 7.1 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $35.36-$36.20 after having opened the day at $35.45 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $35.03.

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 $31.1 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 15.6, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 32.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are no analysts who rate Exelon a buy, 4 analysts rate it a sell, and 9 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, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, good cash flow from operations, notable return on equity and compelling growth in net income. 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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