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.

Trade-Ideas LLC identified PDC Energy ( PDCE) as a strong on high relative volume candidate. In addition to specific proprietary factors, Trade-Ideas identified PDC Energy as such a stock due to the following factors:

  • PDCE has an average dollar-volume (as measured by average daily share volume multiplied by share price) of $48.9 million.
  • PDCE has traded 194,822 shares today.
  • PDCE is trading at 9.11 times the normal volume for the stock at this time of day.
  • PDCE is trading at a new high 4.04% above yesterday's close.

'Strong on High Relative Volume' stocks are worth watching because major volume moves tend to indicate underlying activity such as M&A events, material stock news, analyst upgrades, insider buying, buying from 'superinvestors,' or that hedge funds and momentum traders are piling into a stock ahead of a catalyst. Regardless of the impetus behind the price and volume action, when a stock moves with strength and volume it can indicate the start of a new trend on which early investors can capitalize. In the event of a well-timed trading opportunity, combining technical indicators with fundamental trends and a disciplined trading methodology should help you take the first steps towards investment success.

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More details on PDCE:

PDC Energy, Inc., an independent exploration and production company, acquires, explores for, develops, and produces crude oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids in the United States. Currently there are 14 analysts that rate PDC Energy a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

The average volume for PDC Energy has been 851,400 shares per day over the past 30 days. PDC Energy has a market cap of $1.5 billion and is part of the basic materials sector and energy industry. The stock has a beta of 2.40 and a short float of 13.9% with 3.56 days to cover. Shares are down 19% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

TheStreetRatings.com Analysis:

TheStreet Quant Ratings rates PDC Energy as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its good cash flow from operations, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including unimpressive growth in net income, a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself and feeble growth in the company's earnings per share.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 2385.28% to $51.10 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, PDC ENERGY INC has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -5.05%.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is somewhat low, currently at 0.71, and is less than that of the industry average, implying that there has been a relatively successful effort in the management of debt levels. Even though the company has a strong debt-to-equity ratio, the quick ratio of 0.43 is very weak and demonstrates a lack of ability to pay short-term obligations.
  • The gross profit margin for PDC ENERGY INC is rather high; currently it is at 55.07%. Despite the high profit margin, it has decreased significantly from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, PDCE's net profit margin of -25.74% significantly underperformed when compared to the industry average.
  • Despite any intermediate fluctuations, we have only bad news to report on this stock's performance over the last year: it has tumbled by 35.47%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 249.05% 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, 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 241.5% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $19.92 million to -$28.19 million.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

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