Will This Downgrade Hurt Halcon Resources (HK) Stock Today?

Story updated at 10 a.m. to reflect market activity.

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Halcon Resources (HK) was downgraded to "underweight" by Morgan Stanley (MS) Monday.

Shares of Halcon Resources were falling -1.3% to $5.35 in morning trading.

The firm set a price target of $4 for the energy company. The downgrade is a valuation call as Halcon stock has outperformed by 40% year-to-date according to Morgan Stanley analysts.

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TheStreet Ratings team rates HALCON RESOURCES CORP as a Hold with a ratings score of C-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate HALCON RESOURCES CORP (HK) 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 robust revenue growth, good cash flow from operations and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, generally higher debt management risk and disappointing return on equity."

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

  • HK's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 1.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 51.6%. 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.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $251.44 million or 44.00% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of 18.80%.
  • Compared to where it was 12 months ago, the stock is up, but it has so far lagged the appreciation in the S&P 500. Despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year, there is currently no conclusive evidence that warrants the purchase or sale of this stock.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is very high at 2.61 and currently higher than the industry average, implying increased risk associated with the management of debt levels within the company. To add to this, HK has a quick ratio of 0.66, this demonstrates the lack of ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • Return on equity has greatly decreased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of major weakness within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, HALCON RESOURCES CORP's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: HK 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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