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The Utilities sector as a whole closed the day down 0.9% versus the S&P 500, which was down 0.3%. Laggards within the Utilities sector included GreenHunter Resources ( GRH), down 6.3%, Spark Energy ( SPKE), down 1.8%, Niska Gas Storage Partners ( NKA), down 2.4%, American Midstream Partners ( AMID), down 2.8% and Southcross Energy Partners ( SXE), down 4.7%.

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 $0.14 (2.4%) to $5.73 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 628,876 shares of Niska Gas Storage Partners exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 158,300 shares. The stock ranged in price between $5.61-$6.24 after having opened the day at $5.97 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $5.87.

Niska Gas Storage Partners LLC owns and operates natural gas storage assets in North America. Niska Gas Storage Partners has a market cap of $209.5 million and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are down 60.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are no analysts who rate Niska Gas Storage Partners a buy, 3 analysts rate it a sell, and 2 rate it a hold.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Niska Gas Storage Partners as a hold.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on NKA go as follows:

  • NKA, with its very weak revenue results, has greatly underperformed against the industry average of 1.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues plummeted by 71.3%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • NISKA GAS STORAGE PARTNERS has experienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. We feel it is likely to report a decline in earnings in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, NISKA GAS STORAGE PARTNERS continued to lose money by earning -$0.24 versus -$0.63 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 125.0% in earnings (-$0.54 versus -$0.24).
  • Despite any intermediate fluctuations, we have only bad news to report on this stock's performance over the last year: it has tumbled by 54.99%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 254.54% compared to the year-earlier quarter. Turning toward the future, the fact that the stock has come down in price over the past year should not necessarily be interpreted as a negative; it could be one of the factors that may help make the stock attractive down the road. Right now, however, we believe that it is too soon to buy.
  • 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 Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 267.6% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from -$7.84 million to -$28.83 million.

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

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At the close, Spark Energy ( SPKE) was down $0.29 (1.8%) to $15.57 on light volume. Throughout the day, 11,263 shares of Spark Energy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 34,900 shares. The stock ranged in price between $15.43-$16.00 after having opened the day at $15.87 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $15.86.

Spark Energy has a market cap of $48.6 million and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are unchanged year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 4 analysts who rate Spark Energy a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

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GreenHunter Resources ( GRH) was another company that pushed the Utilities sector lower today. GreenHunter Resources was down $0.07 (6.3%) to $1.09 on average volume. Throughout the day, 241,118 shares of GreenHunter Resources exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 283,800 shares. The stock ranged in price between $1.02-$1.14 after having opened the day at $1.10 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $1.16.

GreenHunter Resources has a market cap of $44.0 million and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are unchanged year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 3 analysts who rate GreenHunter Resources 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.