Ultra Petroleum Corporation (UPL): Today's Featured Energy Laggard

Ultra Petroleum Corporation ( UPL) pushed the Energy industry lower today making it today's featured Energy laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day up 2.3%. By the end of trading, Ultra Petroleum Corporation fell 46 cents (-2.1%) to $21.01 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 6.2 million shares of Ultra Petroleum Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.9 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $20.80-$21.93 after having opened the day at $21.91 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $21.47. Other company's within the Energy industry that declined today were: GeoMet ( GMET), down 19.3%, Gasco Energy ( GSX), down 12.9%, New Concept Energy ( GBR), down 8.1%, and Constellation Energy Partners ( CEP), down 7.3%.

Ultra Petroleum Corp., an independent oil and gas company, engages in the acquisition, exploration, development, production, and operation of oil and natural gas properties in the United States. Ultra Petroleum Corporation has a market cap of $3.63 billion and is part of the basic materials sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 7.8, equal to the average energy industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 27.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are four analysts that rate Ultra Petroleum Corporation a buy, one analyst rates it a sell, and 14 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Ultra Petroleum Corporation as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its compelling growth in net income, good cash flow from operations and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including generally poor debt management, a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself and feeble growth in the company's earnings per share.

On the positive front, GeoPetro Resources Company ( GPR), up 26.3%, ATP Oil & Gas ( ATPG), up 21.4%, Union Drilling ( UDRL), up 20%, and Global Geophysical Services ( GGS), up 17.7%, were all gainers within the energy industry with Schlumberger ( SLB) being today's featured energy industry leader.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the energy industry could consider Energy Select Sector SPDR ( XLE) while those bearish on the energy industry could consider Proshares Short Oil & Gas ( DDG).
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