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Why Walter Energy (WLT) Stock And Other Energy Companies May Fall Today

Stocks in this article: WLTACICNXBTUANR

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Walter Energy (WLT) shares are down -4.9% to $4.64 following an EPA proposal to cut carbon-dioxide emissions by 30% by 2030.

The emissions reduction proposal is the centerpiece of President Obama's climate-change agenda.

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The EPA expects to meet these goals by relying on four different options including energy efficiency, shifting from coal to natural gas, investing in renewable energy and making power plant upgrades.

The power sector is currently responsible for 38% of the country's carbon emissions.

Walter Energy released this statement today, "Because the rules issued today by EPA are aimed at controlling CO2 emissions from existing domestic power plants, we do not expect the regulation will have any material impact on Walter Energy. We primarily mine and sell metallurgical grades of coal that are used in making steel, not generating electricity. Approximately 95% of the company's coal-related revenues come from the export of metallurgical coal."

Other energy stocks that could be affected by this regulation include Arch Coal (ACI) , CONSOL Energy  (CNX) , Peabody Energy (BTU) and Alpha Natural Resources (ANR).

TheStreet Ratings team rates WALTER ENERGY INC as a Sell with a ratings score of D. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate WALTER ENERGY INC (WLT) a SELL. This is driven by several weaknesses, which we believe should have a greater impact than any strengths, and could make it more difficult for investors to achieve positive results compared to most of the stocks we cover. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its unimpressive growth in net income, poor profit margins, generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself and generally high debt management risk."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Metals & Mining industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 86.4% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from -$49.44 million to -$92.18 million.
  • The gross profit margin for WALTER ENERGY INC is currently extremely low, coming in at 12.11%. Regardless of WLT's low profit margin, it has managed to increase from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, WLT's net profit margin of -22.27% significantly underperformed when compared to the industry average.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is very high at 4.38 and currently higher than the industry average, implying increased risk associated with the management of debt levels within the company. Even though the debt-to-equity ratio is weak, WLT's quick ratio is somewhat strong at 1.29, demonstrating the ability to handle short-term liquidity needs.
  • Despite any intermediate fluctuations, we have only bad news to report on this stock's performance over the last year: it has tumbled by 70.77%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 86.07% compared to the year-earlier quarter. Naturally, the overall market trend is bound to be a significant factor. However, in one sense, the stock's sharp decline last year is a positive for future investors, making it cheaper (in proportion to its earnings over the past year) than most other stocks in its industry. But due to other concerns, we feel the stock is still not a good buy right now.
  • The company's current return on equity greatly increased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of significant strength within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Metals & Mining industry and the overall market, WALTER ENERGY INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: WLT Ratings Report

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