Whiting Petroleum (WLL) Stock Sinking Today After OPEC Reduces Global Demand Estimates

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Whiting Petroleum (WLL) are sinking, down 5.54% to $31.69 in late morning trading Wednesday, as oil prices continue to fall after the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries lowered its projection for global demand for its oil in 2015.

The organization cut its forecast to the lowest in 12 years as U.S. shale supplies continue to surge amid reduced estimates for global consumption, Bloomberg reports.

OPEC now expects demand for its oil to decline to 28.9 million barrels a day next year, down from 29.4 million barrels a day in 2014, the Wall Street Journal reports.

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Brent crude prices are down by 2.48% to $65.18 per barrel, prices have not been lower than $65 since September 2009, Bloomberg noted.

OPEC has also recently announced that it would maintain its oil production target of 30 million barrels a day, which pushed oil prices further down.

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

"We rate WHITING PETROLEUM CORP (WLL) 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, reasonable valuation levels and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and weak operating cash flow."

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

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 6.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 13.9%. 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 debt-to-equity ratio is somewhat low, currently at 0.65, and is less than that of the industry average, implying that there has been a relatively successful effort in the management of debt levels. Despite the fact that WLL's debt-to-equity ratio is low, the quick ratio, which is currently 0.58, displays a potential problem in covering short-term cash needs.
  • 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 decreased by 22.6% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, dropping from $204.10 million to $157.98 million.
  • The company's current return on equity has slightly decreased from the same quarter one year prior. This implies a minor weakness in the organization. In comparison to the other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, WHITING PETROLEUM CORP's return on equity is significantly below that of the industry average and is below that of the S&P 500.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: WLL Ratings Report

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