3 Stocks Raising 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 104 points (0.6%) at 17,895 as of Tuesday, June 16, 2015, 12:55 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,771 issues advancing vs. 1,197 declining with 176 unchanged.

The Utilities sector currently sits up 0.3% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.4%. Top gainers within the sector include Energy Company of Parana ( ELP), up 3.2%, Wisconsin Energy ( WEC), up 1.0% and Xcel Energy ( XEL), up 0.8%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include ONEOK ( OKE), down 1.0%, and American Water Works ( AWK), down 1.0%.

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

3. PPL ( PPL) is one of the companies pushing the Utilities sector higher today. As of noon trading, PPL is up $0.17 (0.6%) to $30.09 on average volume. Thus far, 2.3 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 $29.75-$30.10 after having opened the day at $29.93 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $29.92.

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PPL Corporation, a utility company, delivers electricity and natural gas in the United States and the United Kingdom. It serves 321,000 natural gas and 397,000 electric customers in Louisville and 16 surrounding counties; and 543,000 customers in 77 Kentucky counties and 5 counties in Virginia. PPL has a market cap of $20.1 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are down 17.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday. 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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2. As of noon trading, Exelon ( EXC) is up $0.23 (0.7%) to $34.04 on light volume. Thus far, 1.6 million shares of Exelon exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 6.5 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $33.59-$34.07 after having opened the day at $33.76 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $33.81.

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Exelon Corporation, a utility services holding company, engages in the energy generation and delivery businesses in the United States. It owns electric generating facilities, such as nuclear, fossil, and hydroelectric generation facilities, as well as wind and solar photovoltaic facilities. Exelon has a market cap of $29.2 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are down 8.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 7 analysts who rate Exelon a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Exelon as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, compelling growth in net income, good cash flow from operations, impressive record of earnings per share growth and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself. Get the full Exelon Ratings Report now.

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1. As of noon trading, Southern ( SO) is up $0.38 (0.9%) to $42.47 on average volume. Thus far, 2.1 million shares of Southern exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.2 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $41.97-$42.50 after having opened the day at $42.13 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $42.09.

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The Southern Company, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a public electric utility company. Southern has a market cap of $38.4 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are down 14.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there is 1 analyst who rates Southern a buy, 3 analysts rate it a sell, and 9 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Southern as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its growth in earnings per share, notable return on equity and increase in net income. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself. Get the full Southern 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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