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Is Duke Energy (DUK) Outperforming Other Utilities Stocks This Year?

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Investors focused on the Utilities space have likely heard of Duke Energy (DUK - Free Report) , but is the stock performing well in comparison to the rest of its sector peers? 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 121 companies in the Utilities group. The Utilities group currently sits at #5 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).

Over the past three months, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for DUK's full-year earnings has moved 1.56% higher. This means that analyst sentiment is stronger and the stock's earnings outlook is improving.

Our latest available data shows that DUK has returned about 9.75% since the start of the calendar year. Meanwhile, the Utilities sector has returned an average of 4.80% on a year-to-date basis. This means that Duke Energy is outperforming the sector as a whole this year.

To break things down more, DUK belongs to the Utility - Electric Power industry, a group that includes 65 individual companies and currently sits at #72 in the Zacks Industry Rank. This group has gained an average of 21.50% so far this year, so DUK is slightly underperforming its industry 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.

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