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The Energy industry as a whole closed the day down 0.3% versus the S&P 500, which was up 0.1%. Laggards within the Energy industry included PostRock Energy ( PSTR), down 4.1%, Lilis Energy ( LLEX), down 1.7%, Tengasco ( TGC), down 2.6%, Lucas Energy ( LEI), down 2.6% and Pyramid Oil ( PDO), down 3.2%.

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 $0.73 (2.1%) to $34.79 on average volume. Throughout the day, 363,452 shares of Ecopetrol exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 434,400 shares. The stock ranged in price between $34.60-$35.58 after having opened the day at $35.40 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $35.52.

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 $73.2 billion and is part of the basic materials sector. Shares are down 7.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there is 1 analyst who rates Ecopetrol a buy, 3 analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold.

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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 3.4%. 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 2.4% in earnings ($3.23 versus $3.31).

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

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At the close, Lucas Energy ( LEI) was down $0.02 (2.6%) to $0.57 on light volume. Throughout the day, 15,369 shares of Lucas Energy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 99,300 shares. The stock ranged in price between $0.57-$0.58 after having opened the day at $0.58 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $0.59.

Lucas Energy, Inc. operates as an independent oil and gas company in Texas. Lucas Energy has a market cap of $19.0 million and is part of the basic materials sector. Shares are down 39.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Lucas Energy as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its unimpressive growth in net income, weak operating cash flow and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on LEI go as follows:

  • 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 70.3% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from -$0.62 million to -$1.05 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to -$0.36 million or 28.67% 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.
  • Despite any intermediate fluctuations, we have only bad news to report on this stock's performance over the last year: it has tumbled by 57.07%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 100.00% compared to the year-earlier 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.
  • Current return on equity exceeded its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of strength within the company. 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.
  • 43.57% is the gross profit margin for LUCAS ENERGY INC which we consider to be strong. Despite the high profit margin, it has decreased significantly from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, LEI's net profit margin of -91.65% significantly underperformed when compared to the industry average.

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

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PostRock Energy ( PSTR) was another company that pushed the Energy industry lower today. PostRock Energy was down $0.06 (4.1%) to $1.39 on light volume. Throughout the day, 15,777 shares of PostRock Energy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 23,500 shares. The stock ranged in price between $1.37-$1.48 after having opened the day at $1.48 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $1.45.

PostRock Energy Corporation, an independent oil and gas company, is engaged in the acquisition, exploration, development, production, and gathering of crude oil and natural gas. PostRock Energy has a market cap of $44.2 million and is part of the basic materials sector. Shares are up 25.0% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates PostRock Energy as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its generally high debt management risk and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

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Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on PSTR go as follows:

  • 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 the unfavorable debt-to-equity ratio, PSTR maintains a poor quick ratio of 0.85, which illustrates the inability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • PSTR has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 9.75% from its price level of one year ago. 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.
  • 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, POSTROCK ENERGY CORP's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for POSTROCK ENERGY CORP is rather high; currently it is at 52.89%. It has increased significantly from the same period last year. Regardless of the strong results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of -29.00% is in-line with the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 153.69% to $1.52 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, POSTROCK ENERGY CORP has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 17.02%.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: PostRock 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.