Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

All three major indices traded up today with the

Dow Jones Industrial Average

(

^DJI

) trading up 4 points (0.0%) at 17,515 as of Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015, 4:20 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,216 issues advancing vs. 1,900 declining with 118 unchanged.

The Transportation industry as a whole closed the day down 0.3% versus the S&P 500, which was up 0.2%. Top gainers within the Transportation industry included

China Metro-Rural Holdings

(

CNR

), up 3.5%,

Rand Logistics

(

RLOG

), up 2.4%,

Paragon Shipping

(

PRGN

), up 5.2%,

Radiant Logistics

(

RLGT

), up 6.3% and

KNOT Offshore Partners

(

KNOP

), up 4.7%.

TheStreet Ratings Group would like to highlight 3 stocks pushing the industry higher today:

Paragon Shipping

(

PRGN

) is one of the companies that pushed the Transportation industry higher today. Paragon Shipping was up $0.10 (5.2%) to $2.01 on average volume. Throughout the day, 109,383 shares of Paragon Shipping exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 126,700 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $1.91-$2.02 after having opened the day at $1.91 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $1.91.

Paragon Shipping Inc. provides shipping transportation services worldwide. It is engaged in the ocean transportation of drybulk cargoes, including commodities, such as iron ore, coal, grain, and other materials. Paragon Shipping has a market cap of $47.0 million and is part of the services sector. Shares are down 29.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 3 analysts who rate Paragon Shipping a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 2 rate it a hold.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

TheStreet Ratings rates Paragon Shipping as a

sell

. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its disappointing return on equity, poor profit margins, weak operating cash flow and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on PRGN go as follows:

  • Return on equity has greatly decreased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of major weakness within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Marine industry and the overall market, PARAGON SHIPPING INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for PARAGON SHIPPING INC is rather low; currently it is at 21.37%. It has decreased significantly from the same period last year. Along with this, the net profit margin of -47.15% is significantly below that of the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$3.39 million or 1941.30% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.
  • PRGN's stock share price has done very poorly compared to where it was a year ago: Despite any rallies, the net result is that it is down by 73.95%, which is also worse that the performance of the S&P 500 Index. Investors have so far failed to pay much attention to the earnings improvements the company has managed to achieve over the last 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 revenue fell significantly faster than the industry average of 24.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 9.3%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.

You can view the full analysis from the report here:

Paragon Shipping Ratings Report

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

At the close,

Rand Logistics

(

RLOG

) was up $0.08 (2.4%) to $3.45 on average volume. Throughout the day, 46,374 shares of Rand Logistics exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 57,200 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $3.35-$3.52 after having opened the day at $3.44 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $3.37.

Rand Logistics, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides bulk freight shipping services in the Great Lakes region. The company offers domestic port-to-port services. Rand Logistics has a market cap of $60.7 million and is part of the services sector. Shares are down 14.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there is 1 analyst who rates Rand Logistics a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

TheStreet Ratings rates Rand Logistics as a

sell

. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its generally high debt management risk and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on RLOG go as follows:

  • The debt-to-equity ratio is very high at 2.71 and currently higher than the industry average, implying increased risk associated with the management of debt levels within the company. Along with the unfavorable debt-to-equity ratio, RLOG maintains a poor quick ratio of 0.77, which illustrates the inability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • RLOG's stock share price has done very poorly compared to where it was a year ago: Despite any rallies, the net result is that it is down by 46.71%, which is also worse that the performance of the S&P 500 Index. Investors have so far failed to pay much attention to the earnings improvements the company has managed to achieve over the last 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.
  • Current return on equity exceeded its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of strength within the company. Compared to other companies in the Marine industry and the overall market, RAND LOGISTICS INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • RAND LOGISTICS INC 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, RAND LOGISTICS INC reported poor results of -$0.44 versus -$0.39 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings (-$0.02 versus -$0.44).
  • 35.93% is the gross profit margin for RAND LOGISTICS INC which we consider to be strong. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Regardless of the strong results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 10.75% trails the industry average.

You can view the full analysis from the report here:

Rand Logistics Ratings Report

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

China Metro-Rural Holdings

(

CNR

) was another company that pushed the Transportation industry higher today. China Metro-Rural Holdings was up $0.03 (3.5%) to $0.88 on light volume. Throughout the day, 750 shares of China Metro-Rural Holdings exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 7,600 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $0.86-$0.88 after having opened the day at $0.86 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $0.85.

China Metro-Rural Holdings has a market cap of $62.5 million and is part of the services sector. Shares are down 7.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.