Hercules Offshore Inc. Stock Upgraded (HERO)

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Hercules Offshore (Nasdaq: HERO) has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from sell to hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth and compelling growth in net income. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that we feel that the company's cash flow from its operations has been weak overall.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Looking at where the stock is today compared to one year ago, we find that it is not only higher, but it has also clearly outperformed the rise in the S&P 500 over the same period. Although other factors naturally played a role, the company's strong earnings growth was key. Despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year, there is currently no conclusive evidence that warrants the purchase or sale of this stock.
  • HERCULES OFFSHORE INC 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 two years. We feel that this trend should continue. This trend suggests that the performance of the business is improving. During the past fiscal year, HERCULES OFFSHORE INC continued to lose money by earning -$0.51 versus -$1.17 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings (-$0.36 versus -$0.51).
  • HERO's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.93 is somewhat low overall, but it is high when compared to the industry average, implying that the management of the debt levels should be evaluated further. Despite the fact that HERO's debt-to-equity ratio is mixed in its results, the company's quick ratio of 1.70 is high and demonstrates strong liquidity.
  • Current return on equity exceeded its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of strength within the company. Compared to other companies in the Energy Equipment & Services industry and the overall market, HERCULES OFFSHORE INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$6.34 million or 233.79% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.
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Hercules Offshore, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, provides shallow-water drilling and marine services to the oil and natural gas exploration and production industry in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico and internationally. Hercules has a market cap of $617.8 million and is part of the basic materials sector and energy industry. Shares are up 15.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

You can view the full Hercules Ratings Report or get investment ideas from our investment research center.
-- Written by a member of TheStreet RatingsStaff
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