3 Stocks Driving The Energy 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.

Two out of the three major indices are trading lower today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 44 points (0.3%) at 17,031 as of Monday, Sept. 15, 2014, 4:20 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,035 issues advancing vs. 2,035 declining with 141 unchanged.

The Energy industry as a whole closed the day down 0.2% versus the S&P 500, which was down 0.1%. Top gainers within the Energy industry included Tengasco ( TGC), up 7.9%, Houston American Energy ( HUSA), up 5.5%, Lilis Energy ( LLEX), up 9.0%, KiOR ( KIOR), up 22.6% and Star Gas Partners ( SGU), up 2.2%.

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

Star Gas Partners ( SGU) is one of the companies that pushed the Energy industry higher today. Star Gas Partners was up $0.12 (2.2%) to $5.75 on average volume. Throughout the day, 59,501 shares of Star Gas Partners exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 63,600 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $5.68-$5.80 after having opened the day at $5.68 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $5.63.

Star Gas Partners, L.P., through its subsidiary, Petro Holdings, Inc., operates as a home heating oil and propane distributor and services provider to residential and commercial customers in the United States. Star Gas Partners has a market cap of $331.0 million and is part of the basic materials sector. Shares are up 7.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are no analysts who rate Star Gas Partners a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate 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 Star Gas Partners as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity, reasonable valuation levels, good cash flow from operations and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on SGU go as follows:

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 9.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 24.4%. 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 return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Gas Utilities industry and the overall market, STAR GAS PARTNERS -LP's return on equity exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $126.95 million or 15.68% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow, STAR GAS PARTNERS -LP's cash flow growth rate is still lower than the industry average growth rate of 27.60%.
  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.54, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels. Although the company had a strong debt-to-equity ratio, its quick ratio of 0.87 is somewhat weak and could be cause for future problems.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: Star Gas 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, KiOR ( KIOR) was up $0.04 (22.6%) to $0.22 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 10,226,621 shares of KiOR exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 918,500 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $0.18-$0.37 after having opened the day at $0.20 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $0.18.

KiOR, Inc., a renewable fuels company, produces and sells cellulosic gasoline and diesel from lignocellulosic biomass using its proprietary biomass-to-cellulosic fuel technology platform. KiOR has a market cap of $9.0 million and is part of the basic materials sector. Shares are down 89.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are no analysts who rate KiOR 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 KiOR as a sell. Among the areas we feel are negative, one of the most important has been a generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on KIOR go as follows:

  • KIOR'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 95.18%, 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.
  • Regardless of the drop in revenue, the company managed to outperform against the industry average of 3.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 3.3%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.
  • KIOR INC has improved earnings per share by 38.9% 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, KIOR INC reported poor results of -$3.20 versus -$0.92 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings (-$0.84 versus -$3.20).
  • 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 36.5% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$38.49 million to -$24.44 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to -$13.27 million or 43.03% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of -5.22%.

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

Houston American Energy ( HUSA) was another company that pushed the Energy industry higher today. Houston American Energy was up $0.02 (5.5%) to $0.29 on average volume. Throughout the day, 224,852 shares of Houston American Energy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 193,000 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $0.26-$0.30 after having opened the day at $0.28 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $0.28.

Houston American Energy Corp., an independent energy company, explores for, develops, and produces natural gas, crude oil, and condensate from properties located principally in the Gulf Coast area of the United States and South America. Houston American Energy has a market cap of $13.7 million and is part of the basic materials sector. Shares are up 10.0% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are no analysts who rate Houston American Energy a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

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

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on HUSA go as follows:

  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$0.42 million or 135.29% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.
  • HUSA has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 21.57% 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, HOUSTON AMERN ENERGY CORP's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for HOUSTON AMERN ENERGY CORP is rather high; currently it is at 67.16%. 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 -1020.89% is in-line with the industry average.
  • HUSA 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. Along with this, the company maintains a quick ratio of 53.71, which clearly demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: Houston American 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.

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.

More from Markets

Dow Rises Sharply as U.S.-China Trade Tensions Thaw

Dow Rises Sharply as U.S.-China Trade Tensions Thaw

To Win at Trade the U.S. Must Act and Behave Like China

To Win at Trade the U.S. Must Act and Behave Like China

Video: Jim Cramer on Tariffs, the Market Rally, Caterpillar and Micron

Video: Jim Cramer on Tariffs, the Market Rally, Caterpillar and Micron

Apple Shares Gain as U.S. and China Call Off Trade War, For Now

Apple Shares Gain as U.S. and China Call Off Trade War, For Now

GE Confirms $11.1 Billion Transportation Merger With Wabtec

GE Confirms $11.1 Billion Transportation Merger With Wabtec