Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

Trade-Ideas LLC identified AmeriGas Partners ( APU) as a "barbarian at the gate" (strong stocks crossing above resistance with today's range greater than 200%) candidate. In addition to specific proprietary factors, Trade-Ideas identified AmeriGas Partners as such a stock due to the following factors:

  • APU has an average dollar-volume (as measured by average daily share volume multiplied by share price) of $43.9 million.
  • APU has traded 404,027 shares today.
  • APU traded in a range 764.6% of the normal price range with a price range of $7.36.
  • APU traded above its daily resistance level (quality: 190 days, meaning that the stock is crossing a resistance level set by the last 190 calendar days. The resistance price is defined by the Price - $0.01 at the time of the signal).

Stocks matching the 'Barbarian at the Gate' criteria are worthwhile stocks to watch for a variety of factors including historical back testing and volatility. Trade-Ideas targets these opportunities because the stock is exhibiting an unusual behavior while displaying positive price action. In this case, the stock crossed an important inflection point; namely, 'resistance' while at the same time the range of the stock's movement in price is more than twice its normal size. This large range foreshadows a possible continuation as the stock moves higher.

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More details on APU:

AmeriGas Partners, L.P. operates as a retail and wholesale distributor of propane gas, and related equipment and supplies in the United States. The stock currently has a dividend yield of 7.5%. APU has a PE ratio of 20.9. Currently there are 2 analysts that rate AmeriGas Partners a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

The average volume for AmeriGas Partners has been 148,700 shares per day over the past 30 days. AmeriGas has a market cap of $4.1 billion and is part of the utilities sector and utilities industry. The stock has a beta of 0.21 and a short float of 2.6% with 1.20 days to cover. Shares are down 5.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

TheStreetRatings.com Analysis:

TheStreet Quant Ratings rates AmeriGas Partners as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, revenue growth, notable return on equity and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • AMERIGAS PARTNERS -LP has improved earnings per share by 26.7% 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 year. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, AMERIGAS PARTNERS -LP turned its bottom line around by earning $1.43 versus -$0.05 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.77 versus $1.43).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500 and greatly outperformed compared to the Gas Utilities industry average. The net income increased by 28.9% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$76.00 million to -$54.06 million.
  • APU's revenue growth trails the industry average of 15.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 4.2%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • The company's current return on equity greatly increased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of significant strength within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Gas Utilities industry and the overall market, AMERIGAS PARTNERS -LP's return on equity exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • 45.29% is the gross profit margin for AMERIGAS PARTNERS -LP which we consider to be strong. Regardless of APU's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, APU's net profit margin of -10.16% significantly underperformed when compared to the industry average.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

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