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Though the S&P 500 holds a stronger, 6.42% year-to-date (YTD) return than the utilities sector's 2.95% YTD return, the utilities sector began outpacing the S&P 500 in June and appears to be continuing to do so.

The utilities sector holds a three-month return of 5.63%, a one-month return of 2.10%, and a one-week return of -0.85%; clearly outperforming the S&P 500's three-month return of -2.45%, one-month return of 0.25%, and one-week return of -1.86%.

As I often find value in lagging stocks within a strong-performing sector, below is a list of six utilities stocks that, with low price-to-book (P/B) ratios, strong returns and projected growth, and moderate-to-optimistic analyst ratings, may offer value in a sector than appears to be picking up steam (sorted by P/B ratio):

1. Tri-Tech Holding, Inc. (NASDAQ:TRIT), a China-based waste management company, is currently trading just above its 52-week low of $3.71. The stock has continuously been using this price level as support, and throughout the history of the company, has never traded below this level. Tri-Tech Holding, Inc. is also selling for less than book with a 0.45 P/B ratio and holds a projected EPS growth (YoY) of 33.67%. Other notable fundamentals that show potential value include a 0.40 price-to-sales (P/S) ratio and a 10.78% return on equity (ROE). Analyst opinion stands at zero strong sell, zero sell, zero hold, zero buy, and one strong buy recommendation with a $10.00 price target, 143.90% above the stock's current price.

2. PNM Resources, Inc. (NYSE:PNM), a diversified utilities company, is currently trading near the ceiling of its slight, up-trending price channel. The company is selling for just above book value with a 1.03 P/B ratio and holds a projected EPS growth (YoY) of 16.30%. Other notable fundamentals that show potential value include a 1.05 P/S ratio and an 11.24% ROE. Analyst opinion stands at zero strong sell, zero sell, seven hold, zero buy, and one strong buy recommendations with a $20.50 average price target, 0.39% above the stock's current price. PNM Resources, Inc. also offers a 2.84% annual dividend, distributed quarterly.

3. Huaneng Power International, Inc. (NYSE:HNP), a China-based electric utilities company, is also trading within a slight, up-trending price channel. The company is selling for just above book value with a 1.23 P/B ratio and holds a projected EPS growth (YoY) of 431.00%. Other notable fundamentals that show potential value include a 0.46 P/S ratio and a 3.68% ROE. Analyst opinion stands at zero strong sell, zero sell, three hold, zero buy, and one strong buy recommendations with a $32.10 average price target, 14.85% above the stock's current price. Huaneng Power International Inc. also offers a 3.89% annual dividend.

4. NV Energy, Inc. (NYSE:NVE), a diversified utilities company, is currently trading 3.26% below its 52-week high. The company is selling for just above book value with a 1.25 P/B ratio and holds a projected EPS growth (YoY) of 55.00%. Other notable fundamentals that show potential value include a 1.45 P/S ratio and a 5.10% ROE. Analyst opinion stands at zero strong sell, zero sell, six hold, zero buy, and one strong buy recommendations with a $17.50 average price target, 1.71% below the stock's current price. NV Energy, Inc. also offers a 3.82% annual dividend, distributed quarterly.

5. The AES Corporation (NYSE:AES), an electric utility, is currently trading just above, what appears to be, strong support at $11.75. The company is also selling for slightly above book value with a 1.47 P/B ratio and holds a projected EPS growth (YoY) of 20.77%. Other notable fundamentals that show potential value include a 0.54 P/S ratio and an 8.87% ROE. Analyst opinion stands at zero strong sell, zero sell, one hold, zero buy, and five strong buy recommendations with a $15.30 average price target, 29.77% above the stock's current price.

6. Otter Tail Corporation (NASDAQ:OTTR), a diversified utilities company, is currently trading 3.67% below its 52-week high. The company is selling for slightly above book value with a 1.48 P/B ratio and holds a projected EPS growth (YoY) of 150.00%. Other notable fundamentals that show potential value include a 0.78 P/S ratio and a 3.33% ROE. Analyst opinion stands at zero strong sell, zero sell, four hold, zero buy, and zero strong buy recommendations with a $23.17 average price target, 0.39% above the stock's current price. Otter Tail Corporation also offers a 5.16% annual dividend, distributed quarterly.

Source: 6 Undervalued Utilities