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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of WPX Energy  (WPX) - Get WPX Energy, Inc. Report fell more than 7.5% to a 52-week low of $15.27 on Thursday after crude oil prices hit a four-year low.

U.S. light crude dropped $2.97 to $74.21 per barrel, its lowest close since September 2010. Brent crude for December delivery fell 3.17%, or $2.55, to $77.83, its lowest intraday price since 2010.

The oil prices declined on fears that China's economy could slow further. China's economy slowed in October, as factory growth dropped and investment growth hit an almost 13-year low. 

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Saudi Arabia has also stayed mum about a possible production cut.

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Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates WPX ENERGY INC as a "hold" with a ratings score of C. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate WPX ENERGY INC (WPX) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed - some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, increase in net income and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including disappointing return on equity and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself."

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

  • The revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 6.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 28.9%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • The gross profit margin for WPX ENERGY INC is rather high; currently it is at 54.79%. It has increased significantly from the same period last year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 7.80% is above that of the industry average.
  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.50, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels. Despite the fact that WPX's debt-to-equity ratio is low, the quick ratio, which is currently 0.58, displays a potential problem in covering short-term cash needs.
  • In its most recent trading session, WPX has closed at a price level that was not very different from its closing price of one year earlier. This is probably due to its weak earnings growth as well as other mixed factors. The fact that the stock is now selling for less than others in its industry in relation to its current earnings is not reason enough to justify a buy rating at this time.
  • 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, WPX ENERGY INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: WPX Ratings Report

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