NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- EXCO Resources (XCO) shares closed trading down 4.92% to $2.90 on Thursday after the company announced that it had entered into derivative contracts that would limit its profit if gas prices rise.

The Dallas-based company entered into agreements with a ceiling price for gas of $4.45 per million Btu in 2015, while investors are expecting gas to climb as high as $6 per Btu, according to a Bloomberg report.

EXCO shares have fallen 47% so far this year.

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TheStreet Ratings team rates EXCO RESOURCES INC as a Sell with a ratings score of D+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate EXCO RESOURCES INC (XCO) a SELL. This is driven by several weaknesses, which we believe should have a greater impact than any strengths, and could make it more difficult for investors to achieve positive results compared to most of the stocks we cover. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its unimpressive growth in net income, generally high debt management risk, weak operating cash flow and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes 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 97.3% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $85.60 million to $2.29 million.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is very high at 3.81 and currently higher than the industry average, implying increased risk associated with the management of debt levels within the company. To add to this, XCO has a quick ratio of 0.61, this demonstrates the lack of ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $67.79 million or 47.04% 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 44.30%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 97.50% 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.
  • 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, EXCO RESOURCES INC'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: XCO Ratings Report
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