Trade-Ideas LLC identified

AmeriGas Partners

(

APU

) as a weak on high relative volume candidate. In addition to specific proprietary factors, Trade-Ideas identified AmeriGas Partners as such a stock due to the following factors:

  • APU has an average dollar-volume (as measured by average daily share volume multiplied by share price) of $10.2 million.
  • APU has traded 111,267 shares today.
  • APU is trading at 10.04 times the normal volume for the stock at this time of day.
  • APU is trading at a new low 5.03% below yesterday's close.

'Weak on High Relative Volume' stocks are worth watching because major volume moves tend to indicate underlying activity such as material stock news, analyst downgrades, insider selling, selling from 'superinvestors,' or that hedge funds and traders are piling out of a stock ahead of a catalyst. Regardless of the impetus behind the price and volume action, when a stock moves with strength and volume it can indicate the start of a new trend on which early investors can capitalize (or avoid losses by trimming weak positions). In the event of a well-timed trading opportunity, combining technical indicators with fundamental trends and a disciplined trading methodology should help you take the first steps towards investment success.

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More details on APU:

TheStreet Recommends

AmeriGas Partners, L.P. distributes propane and related equipment and supplies in the United States. It serves approximately 2 million residential, commercial, industrial, agricultural, wholesale, and motor fuel customers in 50 states through approximately 2,000 propane distribution locations. The stock currently has a dividend yield of 8.2%. APU has a PE ratio of 14. Currently there are 2 analysts that rate AmeriGas Partners a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

The average volume for AmeriGas Partners has been 242,000 shares per day over the past 30 days. AmeriGas has a market cap of $4.3 billion and is part of the utilities sector and utilities industry. The stock has a beta of 0.18 and a short float of 1.9% with 5.77 days to cover. Shares are up 32.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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TheStreetRatings.com

Analysis:

TheStreet Quant Ratings

rates AmeriGas Partners as a

buy

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its notable return on equity and expanding profit margins. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • Current return on equity exceeded its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of strength within the company. In comparison to the other companies in the Gas Utilities industry and the overall market, AMERIGAS PARTNERS -LP's return on equity significantly exceeds that of the industry average and is above that of the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for AMERIGAS PARTNERS -LP is rather high; currently it is at 68.58%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 29.71% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • AMERIGAS PARTNERS -LP's earnings per share declined by 19.8% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has suffered a declining pattern of earnings per share over the past year. However, we anticipate this trend reversing over the coming year. During the past fiscal year, AMERIGAS PARTNERS -LP reported lower earnings of $0.69 versus $1.80 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.31 versus $0.69).
  • APU, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 19.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 24.8%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • Currently the debt-to-equity ratio of 1.80 is quite high overall and when compared to the industry average, suggesting that the current management of debt levels should be re-evaluated. To add to this, APU has a quick ratio of 0.60, this demonstrates the lack of ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.

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