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Is California Water Service Group (CWT) Stock Outpacing Its Utilities Peers This Year?

The Utilities group has plenty of great stocks, but investors should always be looking for companies that are outperforming their peers. California Water Service Group (CWT) 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.

California Water Service Group is a member of the Utilities sector. This group includes 106 individual stocks and currently holds a Zacks Sector Rank of #12. The Zacks Sector Rank gauges the strength of our 16 individual sector groups by measuring the average Zacks Rank of the individual stocks within the groups.

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. California Water Service Group is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #1 (Strong Buy).

Over the past three months, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for CWT's full-year earnings has moved 40% higher. This means that analyst sentiment is stronger and the stock's earnings outlook is improving.


Based on the latest available data, CWT has gained about 2.7% so far this year. Meanwhile, stocks in the Utilities group have lost about 0.3% on average. This means that California Water Service Group is performing better than its sector in terms of year-to-date returns.

Another Utilities stock, which has outperformed the sector so far this year, is Iberdrola S.A. (IBDRY). The stock has returned 1.9% year-to-date.

For Iberdrola S.A. the consensus EPS estimate for the current year has increased 0.6% over the past three months. The stock currently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Breaking things down more, California Water Service Group is a member of the Utility - Water Supply industry, which includes 13 individual companies and currently sits at #150 in the Zacks Industry Rank. On average, this group has gained an average of 3% so far this year, meaning that CWT is slightly underperforming its industry in terms of year-to-date returns.

In contrast, Iberdrola S.A. falls under the Utility - Electric Power industry. Currently, this industry has 59 stocks and is ranked #142. Since the beginning of the year, the industry has moved -1.9%.

California Water Service Group and Iberdrola S.A. could continue their solid performance, so investors interested in Utilities stocks should continue to pay close attention to these stocks.

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