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The Transportation industry as a whole closed the day down 0.2% versus the S&P 500, which was up 0.7%. Laggards within the Transportation industry included Kelso Technologies ( KIQ), down 1.8%, Euroseas ( ESEA), down 1.9%, Providence & Worcester Railroad ( PWX), down 3.0%, Overseas Shipholding Group Inc Class B ( OSGB), down 4.8% and Ultrapetrol Bahamas ( ULTR), down 1.6%.

TheStreet Ratings Group would like to highlight 3 stocks that pushed the industry lower today:

Forward Air ( FWRD) is one of the companies that pushed the Transportation industry lower today. Forward Air was down $2.69 (5.6%) to $45.66 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 472,149 shares of Forward Air exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 124,700 shares. The stock ranged in price between $43.60-$46.29 after having opened the day at $45.96 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $48.35.

Forward Air Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, provides surface transportation and related logistics services in North America. The company operates in three segments: Forward Air, Inc. (Forward Air), Forward Air Solutions, Inc. (FASI), and Total Quality, Inc. (TQI). Forward Air has a market cap of $1.5 billion and is part of the services sector. Shares are up 10.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 3 analysts who rate Forward Air a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 7 rate it a hold.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Forward Air as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, good cash flow from operations, increase in net income and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on FWRD go as follows:

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 5.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 21.3%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • FWRD's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.00 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Along with this, the company maintains a quick ratio of 2.81, which clearly demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500 and greatly outperformed compared to the Air Freight & Logistics industry average. The net income increased by 24.2% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $13.83 million to $17.18 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $19.18 million or 15.24% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, FORWARD AIR CORP has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -81.39%.
  • The stock has not only risen over the past year, it has done so at a faster pace than the S&P 500, reflecting the earnings growth and other positive factors similar to those we have cited here. The stock's price rise over the last year has driven it to a level which is somewhat expensive compared to the rest of its industry. We feel, however, that other strengths this company displays justify these higher price levels.

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

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At the close, Ultrapetrol Bahamas ( ULTR) was down $0.05 (1.6%) to $3.06 on light volume. Throughout the day, 23,258 shares of Ultrapetrol Bahamas exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 50,000 shares. The stock ranged in price between $3.02-$3.12 after having opened the day at $3.12 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $3.11.

Ultrapetrol (Bahamas) Limited, an industrial shipping company, provides marine transportation services in South America, Central America, Europe, North America, and Asia. The company operates in three segments: River Business, Offshore Supply Business, and Ocean Business. Ultrapetrol Bahamas has a market cap of $435.3 million and is part of the services sector. Shares are down 16.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 2 analysts who rate Ultrapetrol Bahamas a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Ultrapetrol Bahamas as a hold. Among the primary strengths of the company is its respectable return on equity which we feel is likely to continue. At the same time, however, we also find weaknesses including unimpressive growth in net income, weak operating cash flow and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on ULTR go as follows:

  • ULTRAPETROL BAHAMAS LTD has experienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from 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, ULTRAPETROL BAHAMAS LTD turned its bottom line around by earning $0.05 versus -$1.69 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.11 versus $0.05).
  • ULTR, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 10.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 18.4%. The declining revenue appears to have seeped down to the company's bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • Current return on equity exceeded its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of strength within the company. Compared to other companies in the Marine industry and the overall market, ULTRAPETROL BAHAMAS LTD's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • 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 Marine industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 79.5% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $13.49 million to $2.77 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to $2.66 million or 63.55% 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.

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

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Euroseas ( ESEA) was another company that pushed the Transportation industry lower today. Euroseas was down $0.02 (1.9%) to $1.02 on average volume. Throughout the day, 50,830 shares of Euroseas exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 52,200 shares. The stock ranged in price between $1.02-$1.09 after having opened the day at $1.05 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $1.04.

Euroseas Ltd. provides ocean-going transportation services worldwide. It owns and operates dry bulk carriers that transport bulks, such as iron ore, coal, and grains, as well as bauxite, phosphate, and fertilizers. Euroseas has a market cap of $62.0 million and is part of the services sector. Shares are down 24.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there is 1 analyst who rates Euroseas a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 2 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Euroseas as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its disappointing return on equity, poor profit margins and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

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Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on ESEA go as follows:

  • 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 Marine industry and the overall market, EUROSEAS LTD's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for EUROSEAS LTD is currently extremely low, coming in at 10.96%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of -49.46% is significantly below that of the industry average.
  • ESEA has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 20.75% 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.
  • EUROSEAS LTD reported significant earnings per share improvement 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, EUROSEAS LTD reported poor results of -$2.27 versus -$0.39 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings (-$0.26 versus -$2.27).
  • Despite currently having a low debt-to-equity ratio of 0.42, it is higher than that of the industry average, inferring that management of debt levels may need to be evaluated further. Despite the fact that ESEA's debt-to-equity ratio is mixed in its results, the company's quick ratio of 1.72 is high and demonstrates strong liquidity.

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

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