NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Energen (EGN) stock is down by 4.83% to $40.39 in mid-afternoon trading on Wednesday as oil prices slip.

Oil prices are falling after the Energy Information Administration reported that U.S. crude stockpiles rose by 2.6 million barrels last week, while analysts were expecting a decline of 2.5 million barrels, Reuters reports.

"In all the years I have been doing this, I have never seen builds in the last week of December," said Tariq Zahir, crude futures trader at TycheCapitalAdvisors, told Reuters. "At least for tax consequence reasons, refiners always ramp up runs at the year-end, and there's a draw. This is a first for me."

Crude oil (WTI) is down by 3.04% to $36.72 per barrel and Brent oil is down by 3.18% to $36.59 per barrel, according to the CNBC.com index.

Based in Birmingham, AL, Energen is an oil and gas exploration and production company.

Recently, TheStreet Ratings objectively rated this stock according to its "risk-adjusted" total return prospect over a 12-month investment horizon. Not based on the news in any given day, the rating may differ from Jim Cramer's view or that of this articles's author. TheStreet Ratings has this to say about the recommendation:

We rate ENERGEN CORP as a Sell with a ratings score of D+. This is driven by a number of negative factors, 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 feeble growth in its earnings per share, deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

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

  • ENERGEN CORP has experienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from the same quarter a year ago. Earnings per share have declined over the last two years. We anticipate that this should continue in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, ENERGEN CORP reported lower earnings of $1.36 versus $1.95 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 32.4% in earnings ($0.92 versus $1.36).
  • 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 Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 149.8% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $457.25 million to -$227.90 million.
  • 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 Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, ENERGEN CORP's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Despite any intermediate fluctuations, we have only bad news to report on this stock's performance over the last year: it has tumbled by 29.41%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 1132.14% compared to the year-earlier quarter. Turning toward the future, the fact that the stock has come down in price over the past year should not necessarily be interpreted as a negative; it could be one of the factors that may help make the stock attractive down the road. Right now, however, we believe that it is too soon to buy.
  • The gross profit margin for ENERGEN CORP is rather high; currently it is at 51.12%. Despite the high profit margin, it has decreased significantly from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, EGN's net profit margin of -120.96% significantly underperformed when compared to the industry average.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: EGN