3 Stocks Boosting The Utilities 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.

All three major indices are trading up today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 54 points (0.3%) at 18,054 as of Thursday, June 11, 2015, 12:55 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,776 issues advancing vs. 1,216 declining with 167 unchanged.

The Utilities sector currently is unchanged today versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.2%. Top gainers within the sector include NiSource ( NI), up 0.9%, Wisconsin Energy ( WEC), up 0.9%, Sempra Energy ( SRE), up 0.7% and American Electric Power ( AEP), up 0.6%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Calpine ( CPN), down 1.2%, FirstEnergy ( FE), down 0.7%, Huaneng Power International ( HNP), down 0.6% and TransCanada ( TRP), down 0.5%.

TheStreet would like to highlight 3 stocks pushing the sector higher today:

3. Edison International ( EIX) is one of the companies pushing the Utilities sector higher today. As of noon trading, Edison International is up $0.33 (0.6%) to $57.75 on light volume. Thus far, 553,550 shares of Edison International exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.2 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $57.61-$58.22 after having opened the day at $57.81 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $57.42.

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Edison International, through its subsidiaries, generates and supplies electricity. The company generates electricity through hydroelectric, diesel, natural gas, nuclear, and photovoltaic sources. Edison International has a market cap of $18.7 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are down 12.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 10 analysts who rate Edison International a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 2 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Edison International as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in stock price during the past year, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and notable return on equity. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results. Get the full Edison International Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, PPL ( PPL) is up $0.23 (0.8%) to $30.45 on average volume. Thus far, 3.3 million shares of PPL exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.2 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $30.30-$30.60 after having opened the day at $30.46 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $30.22.

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PPL Corporation, an energy and utility holding company, generates, transmits, distributes, and sells electricity to wholesale and retail customers in the United States and the United Kingdom. It operates in four segments: U.K. Regulated; Kentucky Regulated; Pennsylvania Regulated; and Supply. PPL has a market cap of $20.1 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are down 16.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 6 analysts who rate PPL a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates PPL as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, compelling growth in net income, notable return on equity, expanding profit margins and impressive record of earnings per share growth. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated. Get the full PPL Ratings Report now.

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1. As of noon trading, Duke Energy Corporation ( DUK) is up $0.70 (1.0%) to $72.75 on average volume. Thus far, 1.6 million shares of Duke Energy Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.5 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $72.56-$73.17 after having opened the day at $72.58 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $72.05.

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Duke Energy Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, operates as an energy company in the United States and Latin America. It operates through three segments: Regulated Utilities, International Energy, and Commercial Power. Duke Energy Corporation has a market cap of $49.9 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are down 13.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 6 analysts who rate Duke Energy Corporation a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 9 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Duke Energy Corporation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its compelling growth in net income, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations, increase in stock price during the past year and growth in earnings per share. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated. Get the full Duke Energy Corporation Ratings Report now.

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If you are interested in one of these 3 stocks, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the utilities sector could consider Utilities Select Sector SPDR ( XLU) while those bearish on the utilities sector could consider ProShares UltraShort Utilities ( SDP).

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