Will This Upgrade Have A Positive Affect On Ultra Petroleum (UPL) Stock Today?

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Ultra Petroleum Corp. (UPL) was upgraded to "buy" from "neutral" at Sterne Agee on Wednesday as the firm said the recent sell-off in shares was baseless.

Sterne Agee gave a valuation call, the company's discipline in spending, improvement in free cash flow visibility and steep oil growth as reasons for upgrading the independent oil and gas company's rating.

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Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates ULTRA PETROLEUM CORP as a Hold with a ratings score of C. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate ULTRA PETROLEUM CORP (UPL) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the growth in the company's earnings per share has not been good."

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

  • The revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 3.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 44.6%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • The gross profit margin for ULTRA PETROLEUM CORP is currently very high, coming in at 73.86%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 31.17% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • ULTRA PETROLEUM CORP reported significant earnings per share improvement 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. This trend suggests that the performance of the business is improving. During the past fiscal year, ULTRA PETROLEUM CORP turned its bottom line around by earning $1.54 versus -$14.24 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.81 versus $1.54).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry. The net income increased by 519.0% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $16.43 million to $101.72 million.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: UPL Ratings Report
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