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The Utilities sector as a whole closed the day up 0.1% versus the S&P 500, which was down 0.5%. Laggards within the Utilities sector included U S Geothermal ( HTM), down 2.6%, Empresa Distribuidora y Comercializadora No ( EDN), down 2.2%, York Water ( YORW), down 1.6%, Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras ( EBR.B), down 6.7% and Southcross Energy Partners ( SXE), down 2.6%.

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

York Water ( YORW) is one of the companies that pushed the Utilities sector lower today. York Water was down $0.40 (1.6%) to $24.44 on average volume. Throughout the day, 35,481 shares of York Water exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 24,500 shares. The stock ranged in price between $24.43-$24.97 after having opened the day at $24.91 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $24.84.

The York Water Company is engaged in impounding, purifying, and distributing drinking water. It operates two wastewater collection and treatment systems; and has two reservoirs comprising Lake Williams and Lake Redman, which together hold up to approximately 2.2 billion gallons of water. York Water has a market cap of $311.4 million and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 7.0% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are no analysts who rate York Water a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 2 rate it a hold.

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TheStreet Ratings rates York Water as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, growth in earnings per share, increase in net income, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company is trading at a premium valuation based on our review of its current price compared to such things as earnings and book value.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on YORW go as follows:

  • YORW's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 8.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 10.5%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • YORK WATER CO has improved earnings per share by 21.1% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, YORK WATER CO increased its bottom line by earning $0.75 versus $0.72 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.85 versus $0.75).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Water Utilities industry average. The net income increased by 20.9% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $2.54 million to $3.07 million.
  • The gross profit margin for YORK WATER CO is currently very high, coming in at 80.78%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 25.41% is above that of the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has slightly increased to $6.54 million or 5.83% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, YORK WATER CO has also modestly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -3.21%.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: York Water Ratings Report

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At the close, Empresa Distribuidora y Comercializadora No ( EDN) was down $0.21 (2.2%) to $9.46 on light volume. Throughout the day, 12,882 shares of Empresa Distribuidora y Comercializadora No exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 48,700 shares. The stock ranged in price between $9.36-$9.74 after having opened the day at $9.61 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $9.67.

Empresa Distribuidora y Comercializadora Norte S.A., a public service company, is engaged in the distribution and sale of electricity in Argentina. Empresa Distribuidora y Comercializadora No has a market cap of $432.4 million and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 3.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Empresa Distribuidora y Comercializadora No as a sell. Among the areas we feel are negative, one of the most important has been weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on EDN go as follows:

  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $52.55 million or 16.34% 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.
  • EDN, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 5.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 20.1%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.
  • EMPRESA DISTRIBUIDORA Y COM has improved earnings per share by 25.3% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past year. During the past fiscal year, EMPRESA DISTRIBUIDORA Y COM turned its bottom line around by earning $3.47 versus -$4.70 in the prior year.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Electric Utilities industry average. The net income increased by 22.0% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from -$105.34 million to -$82.17 million.
  • This stock has increased by 54.63% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. Regarding the future course of this stock, we feel that the risks involved in investing in EDN do not compensate for any future upside potential, despite the fact that it has seen nice gains over the past 12 months.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: Empresa Distribuidora y Comercializadora No Ratings Report

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U S Geothermal ( HTM) was another company that pushed the Utilities sector lower today. U S Geothermal was down $0.01 (2.6%) to $0.45 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 431,031 shares of U S Geothermal exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 207,300 shares. The stock ranged in price between $0.43-$0.45 after having opened the day at $0.44 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $0.46.

U S Geothermal has a market cap of $48.7 million and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are down 0.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. 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.