NEW YORK (

TheStreet

)

-- Whiting Petroleum Corporation

(NYSE:

WLL

) has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 52.34% to $374.16 million when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of 32.65%.
  • The gross profit margin for WHITING PETROLEUM CORP is currently very high, coming in at 77.50%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 42.30% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has greatly exceeded that of the S&P 500, but is less than that of the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry average. The net income increased by 62.1% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $125.32 million to $203.15 million.
  • WHITING PETROLEUM CORP reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past year. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, WHITING PETROLEUM CORP turned its bottom line around by earning $2.41 versus -$1.20 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($4.09 versus $2.41).
  • WLL's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 27.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 27.8%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.

Whiting Petroleum Corporation engages in the acquisition, development, exploitation, exploration, and production of oil and gas primarily in the Permian Basin, Rocky Mountains, Mid-Continent, Gulf Coast, and Michigan regions of the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 31.6, below the average energy industry P/E ratio of 34.2 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Whiting has a market cap of $7.3 billion and is part of the

basic materials

sector and

energy

industry. Shares are up 4.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

You can view the full

Whiting Ratings Report

or get investment ideas from our

investment research center

.

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