Barbarian At The Gate: Linn Energy (LINE)

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 Linn Energy ( LINE) 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 Linn Energy as such a stock due to the following factors:

  • LINE has an average dollar-volume (as measured by average daily share volume multiplied by share price) of $35.5 million.
  • LINE has traded 1.2 million shares today.
  • LINE traded in a range 205.8% of the normal price range with a price range of $0.80.
  • LINE traded above its daily resistance level (quality: 109 days, meaning that the stock is crossing a resistance level set by the last 109 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 LINE:

Linn Energy, LLC, an independent oil and natural gas company, acquires and develops oil and natural gas properties. The company's properties are located in Rockies, the Mid-Continent, the Hugoton Basin, California, the Permian Basin, Michigan, Illinois, and East Texas in the United States. The stock currently has a dividend yield of 9.2%. Currently there are 7 analysts that rate Linn Energy a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

The average volume for Linn Energy has been 1.2 million shares per day over the past 30 days. Linn Energy has a market cap of $10.4 billion and is part of the basic materials sector and energy industry. The stock has a beta of 0.63 and a short float of 4.8% with 8.54 days to cover. Shares are up 1.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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 Linn Energy as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, increase in net income and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including generally higher debt management risk and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • LINE's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 3.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 98.8%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • 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 61.5% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$221.89 million to -$85.34 million.
  • LINN ENERGY LLC reported significant earnings per share improvement 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, LINN ENERGY LLC reported poor results of -$2.78 versus -$1.86 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.65 versus -$2.78).
  • In its most recent trading session, LINE has closed at a price level that was not very different from its closing price of one year earlier. This is probably due to its weak earnings growth as well as other mixed factors. The fact that the stock is now selling for less than others in its industry in relation to its current earnings is not reason enough to justify a buy rating at this time.
  • Currently the debt-to-equity ratio of 1.69 is quite high overall and when compared to the industry average, suggesting that the current management of debt levels should be re-evaluated. Along with this, the company manages to maintain a quick ratio of 0.48, which clearly demonstrates the inability to cover short-term cash needs.

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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