Today's Unusual Social Activity Stock: Halliburton Company (HAL)

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 Halliburton Company ( HAL) as an unusual social activity candidate. In addition to specific proprietary factors, Trade-Ideas identified Halliburton Company as such a stock due to the following factors:

  • HAL has 15x the normal benchmarked social activity for this time of the day compared to its average of 9.53 mentions/day.
  • HAL has an average dollar-volume (as measured by average daily share volume multiplied by share price) of $541.9 million.

Identifying stocks with 'Unusual Social Activity' tends to be a valuable process for traders looking to capitalize on the 'talk of the town' stocks that are basking in far more attention from the StockTwits financial community than normal. Good press? Bad press? It ultimately doesn't matter if it's good or bad if you know how to trade around the sentiment. Certain hedge funds use such data for their proprietary algorithms and it is not uncommon to see shared social sentiment play itself out in a stock's price trend.

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More details on HAL:

Halliburton Company provides a range of services and products for the exploration, development, and production of oil and natural gas to oil and gas companies worldwide. The company operates in two segments, Completion and Production, and Drilling and Evaluation. The stock currently has a dividend yield of 1.1%. HAL has a PE ratio of 24.4. Currently there are 20 analysts that rate Halliburton Company a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

The average volume for Halliburton Company has been 8.7 million shares per day over the past 30 days. Halliburton has a market cap of $51.4 billion and is part of the basic materials sector and energy industry. The stock has a beta of 1.83 and a short float of 1.6% with 1.61 days to cover. Shares are up 20% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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TheStreetRatings.com Analysis:

TheStreet Quant Ratings rates Halliburton Company as a buy. 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 ratings report include:
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 8.3%. 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 52.43% 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 ($3.92 versus $2.37).
  • Net operating cash flow has slightly increased to $1,898.00 million or 9.01% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow, HALLIBURTON CO's cash flow growth rate is still lower than the industry average growth rate of 23.52%.

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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