3 Energy Stocks Pushing The Industry Higher

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

All three major indices are trading down today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading down 49.00 points (-0.3%) at 17,934 as of Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2014, 3:25 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,635 issues advancing vs. 1,400 declining with 160 unchanged.

The Energy industry as a whole closed the day up 0.2% versus the S&P 500, which was down 0.7%. Top gainers within the Energy industry included PostRock Energy ( PSTR), up 5.7%, New Concept Energy ( GBR), up 13.3%, Lucas Energy ( LEI), up 2.7%, Ivanhoe Energy ( IVAN), up 5.2% and Andatee China Marine Fuel Services ( AMCF), up 2.0%.

TheStreet Ratings Group would like to highlight 3 stocks pushing the industry higher today:

Ivanhoe Energy ( IVAN) is one of the companies that pushed the Energy industry higher today. Ivanhoe Energy was up $0.03 (5.2%) to $0.52 on light volume. Throughout the day, 80,475 shares of Ivanhoe Energy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 134,000 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $0.49-$0.54 after having opened the day at $0.50 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $0.50.

Ivanhoe Energy has a market cap of $8.2 million and is part of the basic materials sector. Shares are down 88.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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At the close, Lucas Energy ( LEI) was up $0.00 (2.7%) to $0.12 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 555,608 shares of Lucas Energy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 283,500 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $0.11-$0.13 after having opened the day at $0.11 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $0.12.

Lucas Energy, Inc. operates as an independent oil and gas company in Texas. Lucas Energy has a market cap of $4.5 million and is part of the basic materials sector. Shares are down 87.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are no analysts who rate Lucas Energy a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Lucas Energy as a sell. Among the areas we feel are negative, one of the most important has been a generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on LEI go as follows:

  • LEI's stock share price has done very poorly compared to where it was a year ago: Despite any rallies, the net result is that it is down by 85.72%, which is also worse that the performance of the S&P 500 Index. Investors have so far failed to pay much attention to the earnings improvements the company has managed to achieve over the last 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.
  • The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, LUCAS ENERGY INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • LEI, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 6.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 19.1%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.
  • LEI's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.25 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Even though the company has a strong debt-to-equity ratio, the quick ratio of 0.08 is very weak and demonstrates a lack of ability to pay short-term obligations.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry average, but is less than that of the S&P 500. The net income increased by 4.4% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from -$1.56 million to -$1.49 million.

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

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

PostRock Energy ( PSTR) was another company that pushed the Energy industry higher today. PostRock Energy was up $0.02 (5.7%) to $0.39 on average volume. Throughout the day, 46,234 shares of PostRock Energy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 46,200 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $0.35-$0.39 after having opened the day at $0.37 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $0.37.

PostRock Energy Corporation, an independent oil and gas company, is engaged in the acquisition, exploration, development, production, and gathering of crude oil and natural gas. PostRock Energy has a market cap of $20.8 million and is part of the basic materials sector. Shares are down 68.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are no analysts who rate PostRock Energy a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates PostRock Energy as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its generally high debt management risk, weak operating cash flow and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on PSTR go as follows:

  • The debt-to-equity ratio of 1.27 is relatively high when compared with the industry average, suggesting a need for better debt level management. To add to this, PSTR has a quick ratio of 0.56, this demonstrates the lack of ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $5.71 million or 25.62% 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.
  • PSTR's stock share price has done very poorly compared to where it was a year ago: Despite any rallies, the net result is that it is down by 72.73%, which is also worse that the performance of the S&P 500 Index. Investors have so far failed to pay much attention to the earnings improvements the company has managed to achieve over the last 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.
  • 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, POSTROCK ENERGY CORP's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • 49.25% is the gross profit margin for POSTROCK ENERGY CORP which we consider to be strong. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 28.15% significantly outperformed against the industry average.

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

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

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

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