Investors interested in Utilities stocks should always be looking to find the best-performing companies in the group. Is Otter Tail (OTTR) one of those stocks right now? A quick glance at the company's year-to-date performance in comparison to the rest of the Utilities sector should help us answer this question.
Otter Tail 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 is a proven model that highlights a variety of stocks with the right characteristics to outperform the market over the next one to three months. The system emphasizes earnings estimate revisions and favors companies with improving earnings outlooks. Otter Tail is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #1 (Strong Buy).
Over the past 90 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for OTTR's full-year earnings has moved 31.7% higher. This is a sign of improving analyst sentiment and a positive earnings outlook trend.
Based on the most recent data, OTTR has returned 9.7% so far this year. At the same time, Utilities stocks have gained an average of 2.5%. This means that Otter Tail is performing better than its sector in terms of year-to-date returns.
Another stock in the Utilities sector, Sempra (SRE), has outperformed the sector so far this year. The stock's year-to-date return is 23.8%.
Over the past three months, Sempra's consensus EPS estimate for the current year has increased 0.9%. The stock currently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
Looking more specifically, Otter Tail belongs to the Utility - Electric Power industry, which includes 61 individual stocks and currently sits at #82 in the Zacks Industry Rank. On average, this group has gained an average of 2.9% so far this year, meaning that OTTR is performing better in terms of year-to-date returns.
In contrast, Sempra falls under the Utility - Gas Distribution industry. Currently, this industry has 15 stocks and is ranked #86. Since the beginning of the year, the industry has moved +15.3%.
Otter Tail and Sempra could continue their solid performance, so investors interested in Utilities stocks should continue to pay close attention to these stocks.
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