Story updated at 9:55 a.m. to reflect market activity.

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Ultra Petroleum (UPL - Get Report) was downgraded to "underweight" from "equal weight" by Barclays on Tuesday.

Shares of Ultra Petroleum were falling 4.3% to $22.12 in morning trading.

The firm lowered its price target for the oil and gas company to $17 from $22, and lowered EPS estimates through 2015. Barclays lowered its 2014 EPS estimates for Ultra Petroleum to $2.50 a share from $2.65 a share. The analyst firm lowered its 2015 earnings estimates to $1.95 a share from $2.60 a share.

"We do not believe UPL's asset quality or track record justify the roughly 35% premium to peer multiples," analyst Thomas R. Driscoll wrote. "We are lowering 2015 EPS and CFPS by 25% and 13%, respectively, to reflect a 6% cut in 2015 price assumptions and a 2% cut in estimated production."

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TheStreet Ratings team rates ULTRA PETROLEUM CORP as a Hold with a ratings score of C. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate ULTRA PETROLEUM CORP (UPL) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed -- some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the growth in the company's net income has been quite unimpressive."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • UPL's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 1.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 7.1%. 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.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $171.08 million or 21.09% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of -6.46%.
  • Looking at where the stock is today compared to one year ago, we find that it is not only higher, but it has also clearly outperformed the rise in the S&P 500 over the same period, despite the company's weak earnings results. Despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year, there is currently no conclusive evidence that warrants the purchase or sale of this stock.
  • ULTRA PETROLEUM CORP's earnings per share declined by 9.3% 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, ULTRA PETROLEUM CORP turned its bottom line around by earning $1.54 versus -$14.24 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.53 versus $1.54).
  • 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 8.9% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, dropping from $116.37 million to $106.05 million.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: UPL Ratings Report

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