3 Stocks Pushing The Utilities Sector Lower

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The Utilities sector as a whole closed the day down 1.8% versus the S&P 500, which was down 1.3%. Laggards within the Utilities sector included Pure Cycle ( PCYO), down 4.6%, Gas Natural ( EGAS), down 2.3%, Artesian Resource ( ARTNA), down 2.0%, Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras ( EBR.B), down 9.8% and York Water ( YORW), down 2.5%.

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

Artesian Resource ( ARTNA) is one of the companies that pushed the Utilities sector lower today. Artesian Resource was down $0.45 (2.0%) to $22.15 on average volume. Throughout the day, 18,894 shares of Artesian Resource exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 19,300 shares. The stock ranged in price between $22.06-$22.66 after having opened the day at $22.49 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $22.60.

Artesian Resources Corporation, through its subsidiaries, provides water, wastewater, and other services on the Delmarva Peninsula. It distributes and sells water to residential, commercial, industrial, municipal, and utility customers in the states of Delaware, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. Artesian Resource has a market cap of $178.8 million and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 0.0% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there is 1 analyst who rates Artesian Resource a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Artesian Resource as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in net income, revenue growth, good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins and growth in earnings per share. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on ARTNA go as follows:

  • 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 27.4% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $2.60 million to $3.32 million.
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 8.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 8.4%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $6.94 million or 21.44% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of -3.12%.
  • The gross profit margin for ARTESIAN RESOURCES is rather high; currently it is at 50.07%. 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 16.92% trails the industry average.
  • ARTESIAN RESOURCES has improved earnings per share by 27.6% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, ARTESIAN RESOURCES reported lower earnings of $0.93 versus $1.14 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.04 versus $0.93).

You can view the full analysis from the report here: Artesian Resource Ratings Report

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