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 traded up today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 115 points (0.7%) at 17,091 as of Friday, July 18, 2014, 3:55 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 2,387 issues advancing vs. 565 declining with 160 unchanged.

The Utilities sector as a whole closed the day up 1.4% versus the S&P 500, which was up 1.0%. Top gainers within the Utilities sector included American DG Energy ( ADGE), up 14.0%, Cadiz ( CDZI), up 4.4%, Artesian Resource ( ARTNA), up 1.7%, Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras ( EBR.B), up 2.2% and Pure Cycle ( PCYO), up 6.7%.

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

Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras ( EBR.B) is one of the companies that pushed the Utilities sector higher today. Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras was up $0.11 (2.2%) to $5.15 on light volume. Throughout the day, 43,510 shares of Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 110,200 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $5.11-$5.20 after having opened the day at $5.17 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $5.04.

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 $6.9 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 14.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are no analysts who rate Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

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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 weak operating cash flow and poor profit margins.

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

  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to $758.05 million or 58.45% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.
  • The gross profit margin for ELETROBRAS-CENTR ELETR BRAS is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 27.17%. Despite the low profit margin, it has increased significantly from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, EBR.B's net profit margin of 14.06% compares favorably to the industry average.
  • The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength 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.
  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.58, 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 0.96 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

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, Artesian Resource ( ARTNA) was up $0.36 (1.7%) to $21.62 on light volume. Throughout the day, 12,723 shares of Artesian Resource exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 20,500 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $21.22-$21.67 after having opened the day at $21.22 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $21.26.

Artesian Resources Corporation, through its subsidiaries, provides water, wastewater, and other services on the Delmarva Peninsula. It distributes and sells water to residential, commercial, industrial, municipal, and utility customers in the states of Delaware, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. Artesian Resource has a market cap of $170.8 million and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are down 6.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 3 analysts who rate Artesian Resource a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Artesian Resource as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in net income, revenue growth, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on ARTNA go as follows:

  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has greatly exceeded that of the S&P 500, but is less than that of the Water Utilities industry average. The net income increased by 27.0% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $1.64 million to $2.08 million.
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 10.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 3.5%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • 39.56% is the gross profit margin for ARTESIAN RESOURCES which we consider to be strong. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Regardless of the strong results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 12.32% trails the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has slightly increased to $5.05 million or 6.37% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow, ARTESIAN RESOURCES's cash flow growth rate is still lower than the industry average growth rate of 22.45%.
  • ARTESIAN RESOURCES has improved earnings per share by 21.1% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, ARTESIAN RESOURCES reported lower earnings of $0.93 versus $1.14 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.17 versus $0.93).

You can view the full analysis from the report here: Artesian Resource 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.

Cadiz ( CDZI) was another company that pushed the Utilities sector higher today. Cadiz was up $0.36 (4.4%) to $8.56 on average volume. Throughout the day, 57,406 shares of Cadiz exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 47,900 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $8.06-$8.70 after having opened the day at $8.20 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $8.20.

Cadiz has a market cap of $132.6 million and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 17.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on CDZI go as follows:

You can view the full analysis from the report here: Cadiz 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.