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The Energy industry as a whole closed the day down 2.6% versus the S&P 500, which was unchanged. Laggards within the Energy industry included Sonde Resources ( SOQ), down 13.0%, Houston American Energy ( HUSA), down 4.8%, FieldPoint Petroleum ( FPP), down 3.2%, Tengasco ( TGC), down 4.4% and Lilis Energy ( LLEX), down 3.4%.

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 $1.00 (4.0%) to $24.24 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 998,931 shares of Ecopetrol exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 586,100 shares. The stock ranged in price between $24.14-$25.55 after having opened the day at $25.25 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $25.24.

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 $51.8 billion and is part of the basic materials sector. Shares are down 34.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. 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 attractive valuation levels, 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 feeble growth in the company's earnings per share, deteriorating net income and weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on EC go as follows:

  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.45, 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 0.83 is somewhat weak and could be cause for future problems.
  • 41.90% is the gross profit margin for ECOPETROL SA which we consider to be strong. Regardless of EC's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, EC's net profit margin of 12.17% compares favorably to the industry average.
  • 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 50.5% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $2,059.01 million to $1,019.03 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $2,807.39 million or 26.47% 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: Ecopetrol Ratings Report

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At the close, Houston American Energy ( HUSA) was down $0.01 (4.8%) to $0.22 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 328,631 shares of Houston American Energy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 136,500 shares. The stock ranged in price between $0.21-$0.24 after having opened the day at $0.24 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $0.23.

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 $11.7 million and is part of the basic materials sector. Shares are down 10.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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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.
  • HUSA has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 7.70% 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.
  • 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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Sonde Resources ( SOQ) was another company that pushed the Energy industry lower today. Sonde Resources was down $0.01 (13.0%) to $0.06 on light volume. Throughout the day, 25,434 shares of Sonde Resources exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 57,500 shares. The stock ranged in price between $0.06-$0.06 after having opened the day at $0.06 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $0.07.

Sonde Resources has a market cap of $3.8 million and is part of the basic materials sector. Shares are down 90.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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