Frontline (FRO) Stock Soaring Today As China Stockpiles Oil Imports

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Frontline (FRO) are soaring, up 19.11% to $2.68 on heavy trading volume late morning Monday, extending gains from Friday's session following reports that a record number of oil supertankers are sailing to China as the country stockpiles crude oil, Bloomberg reported. 

Shares of the Bermuda-based shipping company, which is engaged primarily in the ownership and operation of oil tankers, surged more than 38% on Friday as China takes advantage of low oil prices.

According to shipping signals from IHS Maritime, 83 large crude carriers were heading to Chinese ports, transporting an estimated 166 million barrels of crude oil, Bloomberg noted.

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Oil prices are continuing to fall as WTI crude oil for January delivery are down 1.56% to $56.91 per barrel as of 10:55 a.m. today. Brent crude is also down 0.24% to $61.70 per barrel.

U.S. crude hit five-and-a-half year lows earlier this morning with signs that oil prices may have just about bottomed, said former CEO of Gulf Oil Joe Petrowski, CNBC reports. 

WTI crude dropped to $56.25 a barrel in early trading, its lowest price since May 2009.

About 3.54 million shares of Frontline have traded hands as of 11:08 a.m. today, higher compared to its normal trading volume of about 1.14 million shares a day.

Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates FRONTLINE LTD as a Sell with a ratings score of D. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate FRONTLINE LTD (FRO) a SELL. This is driven by a number of negative factors, which we believe should have a greater impact than any strengths, and could make it more difficult for investors to achieve positive results compared to most of the stocks we cover. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its unimpressive growth in net income, poor profit margins, generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself and feeble growth in its earnings per share."

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

  • 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 63.6% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from -$36.45 million to -$59.65 million.
  • The gross profit margin for FRONTLINE LTD is rather low; currently it is at 24.68%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of -43.98% is significantly below that of 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 48.59%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 30.43% 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.
  • FRONTLINE LTD's earnings per share declined by 30.4% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has reported a trend of declining earnings per share over the past year. However, the consensus estimate suggests that this trend should reverse in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, FRONTLINE LTD reported poor results of -$2.38 versus -$0.91 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings (-$0.44 versus -$2.38).
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 669.73% to $17.73 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, FRONTLINE LTD has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -1.58%.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: FRO Ratings Report

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