NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Southwestern Energy (SWN) - Get Report stock is plummeting 18.76% to $5.50 on heavy volume in afternoon trading on Friday following the release of its 2015 fourth quarter earnings and a ratings downgrade at Jefferies. 

After yesterday's market close, the natural gas and oil company reported an adjusted loss of 2 cents per share, narrower than the per-share loss of 4 cents anticipated by analysts. 

Operating revenue was $687 million for the quarter, below estimates for $782 million. 

Southwestern Energy separately reiterated its plan to temporarily halt drilling activities and noted that previous layoffs should save the company between $150 million and $175 million annually.

The company projects that it will spend between $350 million and $400 million on capital investments this year, down from $1.83 billion during 2015.

Following Southwestern Energy's financial release, Jefferies downgraded shares to "underperform" from "buy" and cut its price target to $4 from $11.

The firm cited "a much weaker than expected operational outlook causing us great concern about its financial condition, even with our bullish gas view." Jefferies added that Southwestern Energy expects 2016 fourth quarter production to fall "by a fairly staggering 27%."

Southwestern Energy is part of Real Money's Stressed Out index of 20 troubled companies traders should add to their distressed watch lists. 

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Real Money's Carleton English discussed Southwestern Energy's most recent troubles in an article earlier today. 

Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates the stock as a "sell" with a ratings score of D.

Southwestern Energy's weaknesses include its deteriorating net income, generally high debt management risk, disappointing return on equity, weak operating cash flow and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: SWN

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 article's author.

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