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. The Energy industry as a whole closed the day up 0.1% versus the S&P 500, which was up 0.2%. Laggards within the Energy industry included Sonde Resources ( SOQ), down 5.6%, Barnwell Industries ( BRN), down 2.5%, Pyramid Oil ( PDO), down 2.1%, Tengasco ( TGC), down 6.0% and Lucas Energy ( LEI), down 7.5%. TheStreet Ratings Group would like to highlight 3 stocks that pushed the industry lower today: Ecopetrol ( EC) is one of the companies that pushed the Energy industry lower today. Ecopetrol was down $1.63 (4.2%) to $36.93 on average volume. Throughout the day, 670,954 shares of Ecopetrol exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 520,200 shares. The stock ranged in price between $36.50-$38.32 after having opened the day at $38.32 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $38.56. Ecopetrol S.A., an integrated oil company, is engaged in the exploration, development, and production of crude oil and natural gas primarily in Colombia, Peru, Brazil, and the United States Gulf Coast. Ecopetrol has a market cap of $79.9 billion and is part of the basic materials sector. Shares are up 0.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there is 1 analyst who rates Ecopetrol a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold. STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more. TheStreet Ratings rates Ecopetrol as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, attractive valuation levels and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including feeble growth in the company's earnings per share, weak operating cash flow and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself. Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on EC go as follows:
- EC's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 3.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 1.4%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
- The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.36, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels. Despite the fact that EC's debt-to-equity ratio is low, the quick ratio, which is currently 0.55, displays a potential problem in covering short-term cash needs.
- Net operating cash flow has decreased to $1,849.80 million or 17.24% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing the cash generation rate to the industry average, the firm's growth is significantly lower.
- ECOPETROL SA's earnings per share declined by 11.0% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. Earnings per share have declined over the last two years. We anticipate that this should continue in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, ECOPETROL SA reported lower earnings of $3.31 versus $4.10 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 1.9% in earnings ($3.25 versus $3.31).
- Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$1.01 million or 197.34% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.
- LEI's stock share price has done very poorly compared to where it was a year ago: Despite any rallies, the net result is that it is down by 55.40%, which is also worse that the performance of the S&P 500 Index. Investors have so far failed to pay much attention to the earnings improvements the company has managed to achieve over the last quarter. Naturally, the overall market trend is bound to be a significant factor. However, in one sense, the stock's sharp decline last year is a positive for future investors, making it cheaper (in proportion to its earnings over the past year) than most other stocks in its industry. But due to other concerns, we feel the stock is still not a good buy right now.
- 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 Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, LUCAS ENERGY INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
- LEI, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 3.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 29.4%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.
- LEI's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.24 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Even though the company has a strong debt-to-equity ratio, the quick ratio of 0.46 is very weak and demonstrates a lack of ability to pay short-term obligations.