For those looking to find strong Utilities stocks, it is prudent to search for companies in the group that are outperforming their peers. Is Duke Energy (DUK - Free Report) one of those stocks right now? 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.
Duke Energy is one of 125 companies in the Utilities group. The Utilities group currently sits at #7 within the Zacks Sector Rank. The Zacks Sector Rank includes 16 different groups and is listed in order from best to worst in terms of the average Zacks Rank of the individual companies within each of these sectors.
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. DUK is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy).
The Zacks Consensus Estimate for DUK's full-year earnings has moved 0.46% higher within the past quarter. This shows that analyst sentiment has improved and the company's earnings outlook is stronger.
Based on the most recent data, DUK has returned 2.20% so far this year. Meanwhile, the Utilities sector has returned an average of -2.16% on a year-to-date basis. This means that Duke Energy is performing better than its sector in terms of year-to-date returns.
Breaking things down more, DUK is a member of the Utility - Electric Power industry, which includes 66 individual companies and currently sits at #100 in the Zacks Industry Rank. This group has gained an average of 1.29% so far this year, so DUK is performing better in this area.
Investors in the Utilities sector will want to keep a close eye on DUK as it attempts to continue its solid performance.