NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Willbros Group (NYSE: WG) has been downgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to sell. 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, poor profit margins and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • WILLBROS GROUP INC has exprienced 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, WILLBROS GROUP INC swung to a loss, reporting -$0.68 versus $0.57 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 24.3% in earnings (-$0.85 versus -$0.68).
  • 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 Energy Equipment & Services industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 414.3% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $35.41 million to -$111.27 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 Energy Equipment & Services industry and the overall market, WILLBROS GROUP INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for WILLBROS GROUP INC is currently extremely low, coming in at 13.20%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of -23.90% is significantly below that of the industry average.
  • Despite any intermediate fluctuations, we have only bad news to report on this stock's performance over the last year: it has tumbled by 44.07%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 380.00% compared to the year-earlier quarter. Naturally, the overall market trend is bound to be a significant factor. However, in one sense, the stock's sharp decline last year is a positive for future investors, making it cheaper (in proportion to its earnings over the past year) than most other stocks in its industry. But due to other concerns, we feel the stock is still not a good buy right now.

Willbros Group, Inc. provides engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) services to the oil and gas, refinery, petrochemical, and power industries primarily in the United States, Canada, and Oman. Willbros Group has a market cap of $238.4 million and is part of the basic materials sector and energy industry. Shares are down 53% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

You can view the full Willbros Group Ratings Report or get investment ideas from our investment research center.

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