3 Stocks Pushing 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 traded up today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 101 points (0.6%) at 17,132 as of Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014, 4:20 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,961 issues advancing vs. 1,099 declining with 138 unchanged.

The Utilities sector as a whole closed the day up 0.7% versus the S&P 500, which was up 0.7%. Top gainers within the Utilities sector included Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras ( EBR.B), up 4.8%, Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners ( BEP), up 2.2%, American Midstream Partners ( AMID), up 3.1%, Cadiz ( CDZI), up 6.4% and TransAlta ( TAC), up 6.8%.

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

American Midstream Partners ( AMID) is one of the companies that pushed the Utilities sector higher today. American Midstream Partners was up $0.94 (3.1%) to $30.87 on average volume. Throughout the day, 24,866 shares of American Midstream Partners exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 32,900 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $29.62-$30.87 after having opened the day at $30.30 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $29.93.

American Midstream Partners, LP is engaged in gathering, treating, processing, and transporting natural gas primarily in the Gulf Coast and Southeast regions of the United States. American Midstream Partners has a market cap of $330.6 million and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 10.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 2 analysts who rate American Midstream Partners a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

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TheStreet Ratings rates American Midstream Partners as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance and compelling growth in net income. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including weak operating cash flow and poor profit margins.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on AMID go as follows:

  • AMID's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 3.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 0.6%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 86.28% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 30.00% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. 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.
  • AMERICAN MIDSTREAM PRTNRS LP reported significant earnings per share improvement 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, AMERICAN MIDSTREAM PRTNRS LP reported poor results of -$6.84 versus -$0.73 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings (-$0.75 versus -$6.84).
  • The gross profit margin for AMERICAN MIDSTREAM PRTNRS LP is currently extremely low, coming in at 8.68%. Regardless of AMID's low profit margin, it has managed to increase from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of -2.14% trails the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $8.86 million or 16.09% 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: American Midstream 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, Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners ( BEP) was up $0.65 (2.2%) to $29.95 on average volume. Throughout the day, 36,938 shares of Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 30,300 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $29.27-$29.96 after having opened the day at $29.44 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $29.30.

Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners L.P. owns a portfolio of renewable power generating facilities. Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners has a market cap of $4.1 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 12.0% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 3 analysts who rate Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates 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 Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its unimpressive growth in net income, generally high debt management risk and weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on BEP go as follows:

  • The change in net income from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the Independent Power Producers & Energy Traders industry average, but is less than that of the S&P 500. The net income has decreased by 6.8% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, dropping from $44.00 million to $41.00 million.
  • Even though the current debt-to-equity ratio is 1.24, it is still below the industry average, suggesting that this level of debt is acceptable within the Independent Power Producers & Energy Traders industry. Even though the debt-to-equity ratio shows mixed results, the company's quick ratio of 0.46 is very low and demonstrates very weak liquidity.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $180.00 million or 21.39% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite a decrease in cash flow BROOKFIELD RNWBL ENRGY PT-LP is still fairing well by exceeding its industry average cash flow growth rate of -43.80%.
  • 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 Independent Power Producers & Energy Traders industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, BROOKFIELD RNWBL ENRGY PT-LP underperformed against that of the industry average and is significantly less than that of the S&P 500.
  • 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. Looking ahead, the stock's rise over the last year has already helped drive it to a level which is relatively expensive compared to the rest of its industry, implying reduced upside potential.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: Brookfield Renewable Energy 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.

Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras ( EBR.B) was another company that pushed the Utilities sector higher today. Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras was up $0.22 (4.8%) to $4.83 on light volume. Throughout the day, 50,600 shares of Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 87,300 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $4.69-$4.87 after having opened the day at $4.70 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $4.61.

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 $6.3 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 4.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are no analysts who rate Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its unimpressive growth in net income, poor profit margins and weak operating cash flow.

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

  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Electric Utilities industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 149.0% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $75.75 million to -$37.13 million.
  • The gross profit margin for ELETROBRAS-CENTR ELETR BRAS is currently extremely low, coming in at 7.44%. It has decreased significantly from the same period last year. Along with this, the net profit margin of -1.16% is significantly below that of the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to $146.37 million or 80.21% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.
  • 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 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 0.77 is somewhat weak and could be cause for future problems.

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.

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.

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