NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Total (TOT - Get Report) are down -4.48% to $66.30 in heavy market trading today as the France-based oil and gas company, in response to growing tensions over the Ukraine, froze its program of buying shares in Russia's Novatek, although the French group said it was too early to gauge the full impact of tougher western sanctions, the Financial Times reports.
Total owned 18% Novatek, a natural gas producer at the end of June, stopped buying shares to increase its holding the day MH17 plane was shot down over the Ukraine, the Times said.
TheStreet Ratings team rates TOTAL SA as a Buy with a ratings score of A-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:
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"We rate TOTAL SA (TOT) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, compelling growth in net income, attractive valuation levels, good cash flow from operations and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins."
Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:
- Powered by its strong earnings growth of 67.81% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 31.67% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, TOT should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
- The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry. The net income increased by 69.3% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $1,969.82 million to $3,335.00 million.
- The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.48, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels. Although the company had a strong debt-to-equity ratio, its quick ratio of 0.78 is somewhat weak and could be cause for future problems.
- TOTAL SA reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, TOTAL SA reported lower earnings of $5.12 versus $6.17 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($6.08 versus $5.12).
- You can view the full analysis from the report here: TOT Ratings Report