3 Stocks Pushing The Utilities Sector Lower

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.

The Utilities sector as a whole closed the day down 0.7% versus the S&P 500, which was up 0.4%. Laggards within the Utilities sector included American DG Energy ( ADGE), down 2.3%, U S Geothermal ( HTM), down 7.3%, Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras ( EBR.B), down 3.2%, Niska Gas Storage Partners ( NKA), down 1.7% and Western Gas Equity Partners ( WGP), down 2.0%.

TheStreet Ratings Group would like to highlight 3 stocks that pushed the sector lower today:

Niska Gas Storage Partners ( NKA) is one of the companies that pushed the Utilities sector lower today. Niska Gas Storage Partners was down $0.24 (1.7%) to $14.13 on light volume. Throughout the day, 77,377 shares of Niska Gas Storage Partners exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 156,900 shares. The stock ranged in price between $14.08-$14.68 after having opened the day at $14.68 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $14.37.

Niska Gas Storage Partners LLC owns and operates natural gas storage assets in North America. Niska Gas Storage Partners has a market cap of $492.8 million and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are down 2.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are no analysts who rate Niska Gas Storage Partners a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Niska Gas Storage Partners as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth and compelling growth in net income. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the stock has had a generally disappointing performance in the past year.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on NKA go as follows:

  • NKA's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 3.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 104.2%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • NISKA GAS STORAGE PARTNERS reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past year. We feel that this trend should continue. This trend suggests that the performance of the business is improving. During the past fiscal year, NISKA GAS STORAGE PARTNERS continued to lose money by earning -$0.24 versus -$0.63 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.88 versus -$0.24).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry. The net income increased by 438.7% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$1.28 million to $4.33 million.
  • The gross profit margin for NISKA GAS STORAGE PARTNERS is currently very high, coming in at 75.18%. It has increased significantly from the same period last year. Regardless of the strong results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 4.70% trails the industry average.
  • NKA has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 5.81% from its price level of one year ago. The fact that the stock is now selling for less than others in its industry in relation to its current earnings is not reason enough to justify a buy rating at this time.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: Niska Gas Storage Partners Ratings Report

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

At the close, Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras ( EBR.B) was down $0.15 (3.2%) to $4.58 on light volume. Throughout the day, 28,080 shares of Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 335,600 shares. The stock ranged in price between $4.56-$4.65 after having opened the day at $4.65 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $4.73.

Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras S.A. - Eletrobras, together with its subsidiaries, generates, transmits, and distributes electricity in Brazil. It projects, builds, and operates generating power plants, and electric power transmission and distribution lines. Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras has a market cap of $5.0 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 7.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its disappointing return on equity and weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on EBR.B go as follows:

  • The company's current return on equity has slightly decreased from the same quarter one year prior. This implies a minor weakness in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Electric Utilities industry and the overall market, ELETROBRAS-CENTR ELETR BRAS's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to $427.35 million or 71.61% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.
  • EBR.B, with its very weak revenue results, has greatly underperformed against the industry average of 9.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues plummeted by 55.2%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.
  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.55, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels. Although the company had a strong debt-to-equity ratio, its quick ratio of 0.72 is somewhat weak and could be cause for future problems.
  • Compared to where it was a year ago today, the stock is now trading at a higher level, and has traded in line with the S&P 500. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, we do not believe this stock offers ample reward opportunity to compensate for the risks, despite the fact that it rose over the past year.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras Ratings Report

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U S Geothermal ( HTM) was another company that pushed the Utilities sector lower today. U S Geothermal was down $0.05 (7.3%) to $0.61 on average volume. Throughout the day, 1,822,035 shares of U S Geothermal exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1,386,900 shares. The stock ranged in price between $0.61-$0.66 after having opened the day at $0.65 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $0.66.

U S Geothermal has a market cap of $70.9 million and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 82.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are no analysts who rate U S Geothermal a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 2 rate it a hold.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on HTM go as follows:

You can view the full analysis from the report here: U S Geothermal Ratings Report

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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