StealthGas Inc. Stock Downgraded (GASS)

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- StealthGas (Nasdaq: GASS) has been downgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its generally weak debt management, disappointing return on equity and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The debt-to-equity ratio of 1.12 is relatively high when compared with the industry average, suggesting a need for better debt level management. Along with the unfavorable debt-to-equity ratio, GASS maintains a poor quick ratio of 0.94, which illustrates the inability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • The company's current return on equity has slightly decreased from the same quarter one year prior. This implies a minor weakness in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, STEALTHGAS INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • GASS's stock share price has done very poorly compared to where it was a year ago: Despite any rallies, the net result is that it is down by 33.58%, which is also worse that the performance of the S&P 500 Index. Investors have so far failed to pay much attention to the earnings improvements the company has managed to achieve over the last 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.
  • The company, on the basis of net income growth from the same quarter one year ago, has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry average. The net income increased by 2.4% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $4.34 million to $4.45 million.
  • GASS, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 25.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 0.6%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.
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StealthGas Inc., a ship-owning company, through its subsidiaries, provides international seaborne transportation services worldwide. The company transports petroleum gas products in liquefied form, including propane, butane, butadiene, isopropane, propylene, and vinyl chloride monomer. The company has a P/E ratio of 7.5, below the average transportation industry P/E ratio of 11 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. StealthGas has a market cap of $93.1 million and is part of the services sector and transportation industry. Shares are up 17.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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

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