3 Energy Stocks Driving The Industry Higher

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.

All three major indices are trading down today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading down 158.75 points (-0.9%) at 16,979 as of Thursday, July 17, 2014, 3:55 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 864 issues advancing vs. 2,100 declining with 172 unchanged.

The Energy industry as a whole closed the day down 1.3% versus the S&P 500, which was down 1.1%. Top gainers within the Energy industry included Tengasco ( TGC), up 3.5%, Sprague Resources ( SRLP), up 3.3%, VOC Energy ( VOC), up 1.9%, Alon USA Partners ( ALDW), up 2.2% and Valero Energy Partners ( VLP), up 5.0%.

TheStreet Ratings Group would like to highlight 3 stocks pushing the industry higher today:

Alon USA Partners ( ALDW) is one of the companies that pushed the Energy industry higher today. Alon USA Partners was up $0.38 (2.2%) to $17.43 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 314,294 shares of Alon USA Partners exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 160,600 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $16.90-$17.61 after having opened the day at $17.09 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $17.05.

Alon USA Partners, LP refines and markets petroleum products primarily in the South Central and Southwestern regions of the United States. The company owns and operates a crude oil refinery in Big Spring, Texas with crude oil throughput capacity of 70,000 barrels per day. Alon USA Partners has a market cap of $1.1 billion and is part of the financial sector. Shares are up 1.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are no analysts who rate Alon USA Partners a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Alon USA Partners as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its feeble growth in its earnings per share, deteriorating net income, generally high debt management risk, poor profit margins and weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on ALDW go as follows:

  • ALON USA PARTNERS LP has experienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from the same quarter a year ago. Earnings per share have declined over the last year. We anticipate that this should continue in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, ALON USA PARTNERS LP reported lower earnings of $2.19 versus $3.74 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 12.3% in earnings ($1.92 versus $2.19).
  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 54.8% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $93.53 million to $42.24 million.
  • Currently the debt-to-equity ratio of 1.95 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 the unfavorable debt-to-equity ratio, ALDW maintains a poor quick ratio of 0.99, which illustrates the inability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • The gross profit margin for ALON USA PARTNERS LP is currently extremely low, coming in at 7.99%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 4.93% trails that of the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to $45.27 million or 72.83% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: Alon USA Partners Ratings Report

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

At the close, VOC Energy ( VOC) was up $0.31 (1.9%) to $16.85 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 171,746 shares of VOC Energy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 86,600 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $16.60-$16.89 after having opened the day at $16.61 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $16.54.

VOC Energy Trust acquires and holds a term net profits interest of the net proceeds from production and sale of the interests in oil and natural gas properties in the states of Kansas and Texas. It has an 80% term net profits interest of the net proceeds on the underlying properties. VOC Energy has a market cap of $284.9 million and is part of the financial sector. Shares are up 13.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are no analysts who rate VOC Energy a buy, no 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 VOC Energy 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, increase in stock price during the past year, increase in net income and expanding profit margins. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on VOC go as follows:

  • VOC's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 3.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 122.2%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • VOC has no debt to speak of therefore resulting in a debt-to-equity ratio of zero, which we consider to be a relatively favorable sign.
  • Compared to where it was a year ago today, the stock is now trading at a higher level, reflecting both the market's overall trend during that period and the fact that the company's earnings growth has been robust. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, it goes without saying that even the best stocks can fall in an overall down market. However, in any other environment, this stock still has good upside potential despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year.
  • 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 119.2% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $4.42 million to $9.69 million.
  • The gross profit margin for VOC ENERGY TRUST is currently very high, coming in at 100.00%. VOC has managed to maintain the strong profit margin since the same quarter of last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, VOC's net profit margin of 98.07% significantly outperformed against the industry.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: VOC Energy Ratings Report

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

Sprague Resources ( SRLP) was another company that pushed the Energy industry higher today. Sprague Resources was up $0.81 (3.3%) to $25.35 on light volume. Throughout the day, 14,846 shares of Sprague Resources exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 42,500 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $24.50-$25.35 after having opened the day at $24.62 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $24.54.

Sprague Resources has a market cap of $248.9 million and is part of the financial sector. Shares are up 34.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on SRLP go as follows:

You can view the full analysis from the report here: Sprague Resources Ratings Report

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

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.

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