3 Stocks Boosting The Utilities 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 down today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading down 14.32 points (-0.1%) at 16,933 as of Monday, June 23, 2014, 3:55 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,387 issues advancing vs. 1,632 declining with 133 unchanged.

The Utilities sector as a whole closed the day down 0.1% versus the S&P 500, which was down 0.1%. Top gainers within the Utilities sector included GreenHunter Resources ( GRH), up 2.8%, Niska Gas Storage Partners ( NKA), up 2.2%, Empresa Distribuidora y Comercializadora No ( EDN), up 4.9%, Atlantic Power ( AT), up 4.6% and Cheniere Energy Partners LP Holdings ( CQH), up 1.6%.

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

Empresa Distribuidora y Comercializadora No ( EDN) is one of the companies that pushed the Utilities sector higher today. Empresa Distribuidora y Comercializadora No was up $0.54 (4.9%) to $11.60 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 300,300 shares of Empresa Distribuidora y Comercializadora No exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 189,100 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $10.76-$11.79 after having opened the day at $10.91 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $11.06.

Empresa Distribuidora y Comercializadora Norte S.A., a public service company, is engaged in the distribution and sale of electricity in Argentina. Empresa Distribuidora y Comercializadora No has a market cap of $439.6 million and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 118.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are no analysts who rate Empresa Distribuidora y Comercializadora No a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none 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.

TheStreet Ratings rates Empresa Distribuidora y Comercializadora No as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its notable return on equity, solid stock price performance and increase in net income. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including generally higher debt management risk and weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on EDN go as follows:

  • Compared to other companies in the Electric Utilities industry and the overall market, EMPRESA DISTRIBUIDORA Y COM's return on equity significantly exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Compared to its closing price of one year ago, EDN's share price has jumped by 385.00%, exceeding the performance of the broader market during that same time frame. Regarding the stock's future course, our hold rating indicates that we do not recommend additional investment in this stock despite its gains in the past year.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the Electric Utilities industry average, but is less than that of the S&P 500. The net income increased by 6.7% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from -$99.74 million to -$93.06 million.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is very high at 3.57 and currently higher than the industry average, implying increased risk associated with the management of debt levels within the company. Along with this, the company manages to maintain a quick ratio of 0.46, which clearly demonstrates the inability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $45.89 million or 25.78% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing the cash generation rate to the industry average, the firm's growth is significantly lower.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: Empresa Distribuidora y Comercializadora No 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, Niska Gas Storage Partners ( NKA) was up $0.34 (2.2%) to $15.72 on light volume. Throughout the day, 51,226 shares of Niska Gas Storage Partners exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 134,300 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $15.45-$15.72 after having opened the day at $15.58 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $15.38.

Niska Gas Storage Partners LLC owns and operates natural gas storage assets in North America. Niska Gas Storage Partners has a market cap of $567.5 million and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 4.2% 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 3 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.

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 company has favored debt over equity in the management of its balance sheet.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on NKA go as follows:

  • NKA's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 3.2%. 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 ($0.95 versus -$0.24).
  • Compared to where it was 12 months ago, the stock is up, but it has so far lagged the appreciation in the S&P 500. Despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year, there is currently no conclusive evidence that warrants the purchase or sale of this stock.
  • Current return on equity exceeded its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of strength within the company. Compared to other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, NISKA GAS STORAGE PARTNERS's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio of 1.28 is relatively high when compared with the industry average, suggesting a need for better debt level management. Along with the unfavorable debt-to-equity ratio, NKA maintains a poor quick ratio of 0.75, which illustrates the inability to avoid short-term cash problems.

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.

GreenHunter Resources ( GRH) was another company that pushed the Utilities sector higher today. GreenHunter Resources was up $0.05 (2.8%) to $1.86 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 394,749 shares of GreenHunter Resources exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 130,000 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $1.81-$2.00 after having opened the day at $1.89 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $1.81.

GreenHunter Resources has a market cap of $58.8 million and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 56.0% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on GRH go as follows:

You can view the full analysis from the report here: GreenHunter Resources 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.

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.

More from Markets

Apple and GE Switch Roles; Musk's Super Control of Tesla Explained -- ICYMI

Apple and GE Switch Roles; Musk's Super Control of Tesla Explained -- ICYMI

Trump May Be More to Blame For Higher Oil Prices Than OPEC

Trump May Be More to Blame For Higher Oil Prices Than OPEC

Dow Falls Over 200 Points as Apple's Slump Offsets Gains in General Electric

Dow Falls Over 200 Points as Apple's Slump Offsets Gains in General Electric

Week Ahead: Major Earnings on Tap as Wall Street Readies for Geopolitical Moves

Week Ahead: Major Earnings on Tap as Wall Street Readies for Geopolitical Moves

3 Hot Reads From TheStreet's Top Premium Columnists

3 Hot Reads From TheStreet's Top Premium Columnists