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The Energy industry as a whole closed the day down 2.4% versus the S&P 500, which was down 1.1%. Laggards within the Energy industry included Escalera Resources ( ESCR), down 2.2%, FieldPoint Petroleum ( FPP), down 7.8%, Lucas Energy ( LEI), down 3.0%, Houston American Energy ( HUSA), down 1.9% and Zion Oil & Gas ( ZN), down 2.7%.

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 $0.89 (3.0%) to $28.60 on average volume. Throughout the day, 596,399 shares of Ecopetrol exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 465,700 shares. The stock ranged in price between $28.29-$29.30 after having opened the day at $29.20 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $29.49.

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 $60.6 billion and is part of the basic materials sector. Shares are down 23.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. 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 good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including feeble growth in the company's earnings per share, deteriorating net income and disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on EC go as follows:

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 3.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 14.3%. 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, 0.41, 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 0.75 is somewhat weak and could be cause for future problems.
  • ECOPETROL SA's earnings per share declined by 6.2% 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 6.8% in earnings ($3.08 versus $3.31).
  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and greatly underperformed compared to the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry average. The net income has decreased by 6.4% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, dropping from $1,666.53 million to $1,559.52 million.

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

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At the close, Houston American Energy ( HUSA) was down $0.00 (1.9%) to $0.26 on light volume. Throughout the day, 68,606 shares of Houston American Energy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 210,000 shares. The stock ranged in price between $0.26-$0.26 after having opened the day at $0.26 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $0.26.

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 $14.1 million and is part of the basic materials sector. Shares are up 8.0% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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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.
  • In its most recent trading session, HUSA has closed at a price level that was not very different from its closing price of one year earlier. This is probably due to its weak earnings growth as well as other mixed factors. This company's share value has not moved any higher or lower since its value 12 months ago, and we feel the risks associated with investing in this company will outweigh any potential future gains.
  • 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

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Lucas Energy ( LEI) was another company that pushed the Energy industry lower today. Lucas Energy was down $0.01 (3.0%) to $0.39 on light volume. Throughout the day, 93,495 shares of Lucas Energy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 134,600 shares. The stock ranged in price between $0.38-$0.41 after having opened the day at $0.40 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $0.40.

Lucas Energy, Inc. operates as an independent oil and gas company in Texas. Lucas Energy has a market cap of $13.0 million and is part of the basic materials sector. Shares are down 58.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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 and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

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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 32.7% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from -$0.95 million to -$1.25 million.
  • LEI'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 61.48%, which is also worse than the performance of the S&P 500 Index. 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 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 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.
  • 44.06% 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 -133.12% significantly underperformed when compared to the industry average.
  • The revenue fell significantly faster than the industry average of 3.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 36.4%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to not be hurting the bottom line, shown by stable earnings per share.

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