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The Utilities sector as a whole was unchanged today versus the S&P 500, which was unchanged. Laggards within the Utilities sector included RGC Resources ( RGCO), down 2.3%, Pure Cycle ( PCYO), down 5.8%, GreenHunter Resources ( GRH), down 2.2%, Spark Energy ( SPKE), down 2.6% and American Midstream Partners ( AMID), down 1.6%.

TheStreet Ratings Group would like to highlight 3 stocks that pushed the sector lower today:

Spark Energy ( SPKE) is one of the companies that pushed the Utilities sector lower today. Spark Energy was down $0.39 (2.6%) to $14.33 on average volume. Throughout the day, 46,871 shares of Spark Energy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 34,400 shares. The stock ranged in price between $13.98-$15.08 after having opened the day at $14.78 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $14.72.

Spark Energy has a market cap of $47.3 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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At the close, GreenHunter Resources ( GRH) was down $0.03 (2.2%) to $1.31 on light volume. Throughout the day, 58,833 shares of GreenHunter Resources exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 216,900 shares. The stock ranged in price between $1.29-$1.35 after having opened the day at $1.33 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $1.34.

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 $46.8 million and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 13.8% 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.

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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 and disappointing return on equity.

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.
  • In its most recent trading session, GRH has closed at a price level that was not very different from its closing price of one year earlier. This is probably due to its weak earnings growth as well as other mixed factors. 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.
  • 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 16.0%. 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

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Pure Cycle ( PCYO) was another company that pushed the Utilities sector lower today. Pure Cycle was down $0.32 (5.8%) to $5.20 on light volume. Throughout the day, 18,768 shares of Pure Cycle exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 44,300 shares. The stock ranged in price between $5.20-$5.49 after having opened the day at $5.49 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $5.52.

Pure Cycle Corporation designs, constructs, operates, and maintains water and wastewater systems in the Denver metropolitan area, the United States. Pure Cycle has a market cap of $131.0 million and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are down 13.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there is 1 analyst who rates Pure Cycle a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Pure Cycle as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and impressive record of earnings per share growth. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the stock has had a generally disappointing performance in the past year.

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Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on PCYO go as follows:

  • PCYO's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 8.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 64.4%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • PCYO's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.05 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Along with this, the company maintains a quick ratio of 3.48, which clearly demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • The gross profit margin for PURE CYCLE CORP is currently very high, coming in at 79.82%. 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 -56.25% is in-line with the industry average.
  • The company's current return on equity greatly increased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of significant strength within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Water Utilities industry and the overall market, PURE CYCLE CORP's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • PCYO has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 19.28% 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.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: Pure Cycle Ratings Report

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