3 Stocks Pushing The Utilities Sector Lower

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.

The Utilities sector as a whole closed the day down 2.1% versus the S&P 500, which was down 1.9%. Laggards within the Utilities sector included American DG Energy ( ADGE), down 4.6%, Ellomay Capital ( ELLO), down 2.5%, U S Geothermal ( HTM), down 4.9%, GreenHunter Resources ( GRH), down 10.7% and Pure Cycle ( PCYO), down 2.8%.

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

Pure Cycle ( PCYO) is one of the companies that pushed the Utilities sector lower today. Pure Cycle was down $0.11 (2.8%) to $3.84 on light volume. Throughout the day, 29,605 shares of Pure Cycle exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 53,900 shares. The stock ranged in price between $3.82-$3.96 after having opened the day at $3.96 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $3.95.

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 $96.2 million and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are down 1.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there is 1 analyst who rates Pure Cycle a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

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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 also find weaknesses including weak operating cash flow and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on PCYO go as follows:

  • PCYO's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 8.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 92.3%. 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 the favorable debt-to-equity ratio, the company maintains an adequate quick ratio of 1.05, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • The gross profit margin for PURE CYCLE CORP is currently very high, coming in at 74.32%. Despite the high profit margin, it has decreased significantly from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, PCYO's net profit margin of 125.04% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • PCYO's stock share price has done very poorly compared to where it was a year ago: Despite any rallies, the net result is that it is down by 25.45%, which is also worse that the performance of the S&P 500 Index. Investors have so far failed to pay much attention to the earnings improvements the company has managed to achieve over the last 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.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$0.66 million or 53.13% 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: Pure Cycle Ratings Report

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At the close, GreenHunter Resources ( GRH) was down $0.08 (10.7%) to $0.67 on light volume. Throughout the day, 150,609 shares of GreenHunter Resources exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 238,800 shares. The stock ranged in price between $0.65-$0.75 after having opened the day at $0.70 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $0.75.

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 $25.5 million and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 4.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday. 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, disappointing return on equity, weak operating cash flow, generally high debt management risk 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.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to $0.09 million or 60.96% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.
  • GRH's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.97 is somewhat low overall, but it is high when compared to the industry average, implying that the management of the debt levels should be evaluated further. Even though the debt-to-equity ratio shows mixed results, the company's quick ratio of 0.40 is very low and demonstrates very weak liquidity.
  • GRH's stock share price has done very poorly compared to where it was a year ago: Despite any rallies, the net result is that it is down by 52.07%, which is also worse than the performance of the S&P 500 Index. 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.

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.

U S Geothermal ( HTM) was another company that pushed the Utilities sector lower today. U S Geothermal was down $0.02 (4.9%) to $0.44 on light volume. Throughout the day, 189,485 shares of U S Geothermal exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 260,900 shares. The stock ranged in price between $0.44-$0.46 after having opened the day at $0.44 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $0.47.

U S Geothermal has a market cap of $48.9 million and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are unchanged year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are no analysts who rate U S Geothermal 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.

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