3 Utilities Stocks Driving The 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.

Two out of the three major indices are trading lower today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 1 points (0.0%) at 17,689 as of Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014, 3:25 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,199 issues advancing vs. 1,792 declining with 180 unchanged.

The Utilities sector as a whole closed the day down 0.2% versus the S&P 500, which was down 0.3%. Top gainers within the Utilities sector included Ellomay Capital ( ELLO), up 2.7%, GreenHunter Resources ( GRH), up 2.2%, Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras ( EBR.B), up 5.4%, Niska Gas Storage Partners ( NKA), up 9.3% and Cadiz ( CDZI), up 4.2%.

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

Niska Gas Storage Partners ( NKA) is one of the companies that pushed the Utilities sector higher today. Niska Gas Storage Partners was up $0.48 (9.3%) to $5.65 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 374,416 shares of Niska Gas Storage Partners exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 224,000 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $5.14-$5.79 after having opened the day at $5.20 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $5.17.

Niska Gas Storage Partners LLC owns and operates natural gas storage assets in North America. Niska Gas Storage Partners has a market cap of $190.6 million and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are down 65.0% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. 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. Among the primary strengths of the company is its generally strong cash flow from operations. At the same time, however, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, generally higher debt management risk and disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on NKA go as follows:

  • Net operating cash flow has increased to -$30.44 million or 48.83% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, NISKA GAS STORAGE PARTNERS has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -2.19%.
  • The revenue fell significantly faster than the industry average of 6.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 42.8%. 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 470.8% in earnings (-$1.37 versus -$0.24).
  • Return on equity has greatly decreased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of major weakness within the corporation. 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 gross profit margin for NISKA GAS STORAGE PARTNERS is currently extremely low, coming in at 13.39%. It has decreased significantly from the same period last year. Along with this, the net profit margin of -136.70% is significantly below that of the industry average.

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.

At the close, Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras ( EBR.B) was up $0.15 (5.4%) to $2.91 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 334,427 shares of Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 193,700 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $2.68-$2.98 after having opened the day at $2.81 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $2.76.

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 $3.9 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are down 37.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. 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 unimpressive growth in net income, poor profit margins, weak operating cash flow and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

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.
  • Despite any intermediate fluctuations, we have only bad news to report on this stock's performance over the last year: it has tumbled by 28.24%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 133.33% compared to the year-earlier quarter. Naturally, the overall market trend is bound to be a significant factor. However, in one sense, the stock's sharp decline last year is a positive for future investors, making it cheaper (in proportion to its earnings over the past year) than most other stocks in its industry. But due to other concerns, we feel the stock is still not a good buy right now.
  • 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.

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.

GreenHunter Resources ( GRH) was another company that pushed the Utilities sector higher today. GreenHunter Resources was up $0.03 (2.2%) to $1.30 on light volume. Throughout the day, 145,039 shares of GreenHunter Resources exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 216,300 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $1.21-$1.37 after having opened the day at $1.25 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $1.27.

GreenHunter Resources, Inc., an environmental services company, provides water management solutions in the United States. It offers Total Water Management Solutions to the oilfield, including unconventional oil and natural gas shale resource plays. GreenHunter Resources has a market cap of $43.9 million and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 9.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 3 analysts who rate GreenHunter Resources a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates GreenHunter Resources as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its unimpressive growth in net income, disappointing return on equity and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on GRH 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 Energy Equipment & Services industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 625.9% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from -$0.37 million to -$2.69 million.
  • Return on equity has greatly decreased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of major weakness within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Energy Equipment & Services industry and the overall market, GREENHUNTER RESOURCES INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • GRH has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 5.31% from its price level of one year ago. The fact that the stock is now selling for less than others in its industry in relation to its current earnings is not reason enough to justify a buy rating at this time.
  • GREENHUNTER RESOURCES INC reported flat earnings per share in the most recent quarter. 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, GREENHUNTER RESOURCES INC continued to lose money by earning -$0.22 versus -$0.81 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 59.1% in earnings (-$0.35 versus -$0.22).
  • The revenue fell significantly faster than the industry average of 15.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 19.4%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to not be hurting the bottom line, shown by stable earnings per share.

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.

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