3 Utilities Stocks Pushing 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.

All three major indices traded up today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 9 points (0.1%) at 17,695 as of Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014, 3:25 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,959 issues advancing vs. 1,061 declining with 155 unchanged.

The Utilities sector as a whole closed the day down 0.1% versus the S&P 500, which was up 0.1%. Top gainers within the Utilities sector included GreenHunter Resources ( GRH), up 2.9%, American Midstream Partners ( AMID), up 2.5%, Niska Gas Storage Partners ( NKA), up 7.9%, Just Energy Group ( JE), up 2.9% and Ormat Technologies ( ORA), up 2.1%.

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 $0.45 (7.9%) to $6.20 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 629,913 shares of Niska Gas Storage Partners exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 224,200 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $5.76-$6.33 after having opened the day at $5.87 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $5.75.

Niska Gas Storage Partners LLC owns and operates natural gas storage assets in North America. Niska Gas Storage Partners has a market cap of $189.5 million and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are down 61.0% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. 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.

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. 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, American Midstream Partners ( AMID) was up $0.64 (2.5%) to $26.03 on average volume. Throughout the day, 54,042 shares of American Midstream Partners exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 42,200 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $25.13-$26.07 after having opened the day at $25.24 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $25.39.

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 $400.7 million and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are down 6.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 4 analysts who rate American Midstream 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 American Midstream Partners as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, compelling growth in net income and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. 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 6.4%. 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.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry. The net income increased by 92.5% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$22.11 million to -$1.67 million.
  • 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.
  • 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.

GreenHunter Resources ( GRH) was another company that pushed the Utilities sector higher today. GreenHunter Resources was up $0.04 (2.9%) to $1.42 on average volume. Throughout the day, 292,645 shares of GreenHunter Resources exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 214,300 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $1.25-$1.48 after having opened the day at $1.25 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $1.38.

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 $45.1 million and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 19.0% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. 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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