3 Utilities Stocks Moving The Sector Upward

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 22 points (0.1%) at 16,756 as of Friday, June 13, 2014, 12:55 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,558 issues advancing vs. 1,369 declining with 183 unchanged.

The Utilities sector currently sits up 0.4% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.2%. Top gainers within the sector include CPFL Energy ( CPL), up 2.6%, Companhia De Saneamento Basico Do Estado De ( SBS), up 1.9% and Praxair ( PX), up 0.5%.

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

3. PPL ( PPL) is one of the companies pushing the Utilities sector higher today. As of noon trading, PPL is up $0.50 (1.5%) to $34.02 on average volume. Thus far, 3.3 million shares of PPL exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.1 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $33.44-$34.06 after having opened the day at $33.62 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $33.52.

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 $21.3 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 11.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 4 analysts who rate PPL a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 8 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, good cash flow from operations, 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.

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2. As of noon trading, NextEra Energy ( NEE) is up $1.33 (1.4%) to $96.95 on average volume. Thus far, 973,065 shares of NextEra Energy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.0 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $95.05-$97.18 after having opened the day at $95.64 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $95.62.

NextEra Energy, Inc., through its subsidiaries, generates, transmits, distributes, and sells electric energy in the United States and Canada. The company generates electricity from gas, oil, solar, coal, petroleum coke, and nuclear sources. NextEra Energy has a market cap of $41.4 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 11.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 10 analysts who rate NextEra Energy a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates NextEra Energy as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance, compelling growth in net income, impressive record of earnings per share growth and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated. Get the full NextEra Energy Ratings Report now.

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1. As of noon trading, Exelon ( EXC) is up $0.45 (1.3%) to $35.52 on heavy volume. Thus far, 5.9 million shares of Exelon exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 7.9 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $34.87-$35.61 after having opened the day at $35.08 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $35.07.

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 $30.7 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 28.0% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there is 1 analyst who rates Exelon a buy, 1 analyst rates 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 revenue growth, increase in stock price during the past year, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins. 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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