Will This Downgrade Hurt Halliburton (HAL) Today? (Update)

Update (9:45 a.m.): Updated with Monday market open information.

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Wells Fargo downgraded Halliburton  (HAL) to "market perform." The firm cited valuation, as the stock has gained 11% over the past month.

"HAL has increased over 11% in the past month versus a 1.4% decline for the OSX and a slight (less than 1%) decline for the S&P 500," Wells Fargo wrote in a research note. "As HAL is now approaching our $56-58 valuation range, we are downgrading the stock to Market Perform from Outperform. We are making no changes to our current estimates of $4.02/$5.02 for 2014/2015."

The stock was up 1.75% to $56.27 shortly after the market opened on Monday.

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Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates HALLIBURTON CO as a "buy" with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate HALLIBURTON CO (HAL) a BUY. This is driven by a number of strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, good cash flow from operations, solid stock price performance and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 8.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 4.8%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • Despite currently having a low debt-to-equity ratio of 0.58, it is higher than that of the industry average, inferring that management of debt levels may need to be evaluated further. Despite the fact that HAL's debt-to-equity ratio is mixed in its results, the company's quick ratio of 1.75 is high and demonstrates strong liquidity.
  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 42.85% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 33.06% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. Looking ahead, the stock's sharp rise over the last year has already helped drive it to a level which is relatively expensive compared to the rest of its industry. We feel, however, that other strengths this company displays justify these higher price levels.
  • HALLIBURTON CO has improved earnings per share by 42.9% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, HALLIBURTON CO reported lower earnings of $2.37 versus $2.77 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($3.96 versus $2.37).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500, but is less than that of the Energy Equipment & Services industry average. The net income increased by 18.5% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $669.00 million to $793.00 million.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: HAL Ratings Report

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