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Has Centrica (CPYYY) Outpaced Other Utilities Stocks This Year?

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The Utilities group has plenty of great stocks, but investors should always be looking for companies that are outperforming their peers. Centrica PLC (CPYYY - Free Report) is a stock that can certainly grab the attention of many investors, but do its recent returns compare favorably to the sector as a whole? By taking a look at the stock's year-to-date performance in comparison to its Utilities peers, we might be able to answer that question.

Centrica PLC is one of 108 individual stocks in the Utilities sector. Collectively, these companies sit at #5 in the Zacks Sector Rank. The Zacks Sector Rank considers 16 different groups, measuring the average Zacks Rank of the individual stocks within the sector to gauge the strength of each group.

The Zacks Rank emphasizes earnings estimates and estimate revisions to find stocks with improving earnings outlooks. This system has a long record of success, and these stocks tend to be on track to beat the market over the next one to three months. Centrica PLC is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy).

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for CPYYY's full-year earnings has moved 68.3% higher within the past quarter. This shows that analyst sentiment has improved and the company's earnings outlook is stronger.

Our latest available data shows that CPYYY has returned about 7.7% since the start of the calendar year. In comparison, Utilities companies have returned an average of 3%. This means that Centrica PLC is performing better than its sector in terms of year-to-date returns.

Another stock in the Utilities sector, New Jersey Resources (NJR - Free Report) , has outperformed the sector so far this year. The stock's year-to-date return is 10.1%.

In New Jersey Resources' case, the consensus EPS estimate for the current year increased 2.2% over the past three months. The stock currently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Looking more specifically, Centrica PLC belongs to the Utility - Gas Distribution industry, which includes 15 individual stocks and currently sits at #52 in the Zacks Industry Rank. On average, this group has gained an average of 14.7% so far this year, meaning that CPYYY is slightly underperforming its industry in terms of year-to-date returns. New Jersey Resources is also part of the same industry.

Investors interested in the Utilities sector may want to keep a close eye on Centrica PLC and New Jersey Resources as they attempt to continue their solid performance.


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