Shares of AES Corp. rose on Friday after they received an upgrade to buy from hold from Citigroup, which said the power company's weak recent share performance and good outlook provide an entry point for investors.

Shares of AES were up 92 cents, or 4.4 percent, at $21.79 in afternoon trade on the New York Stock Exchange, while the broader Standard & Poor's utility index traded down about 1 percent.

The Arlington, Virginia-based company's project pipeline drove the brokerage's earnings-per-share lift for 2008 and 2009, Citigroup analyst Brian Chin wrote in a note to clients.

Chin, who raised the stock price target to $26 from $25, said shares of the company have been flat all year, while utility and merchant shares are up significantly.

Lackluster delayed first-quarter earnings results on Thursday pushed the stock down 1.4 percent on a day when the utilities index was up 0.7 percent, Chin added.

AES posted a loss and cut its 2007 forecast for earnings from continuing operations by 5 cents to 99 cents a share.