3 Transportation Stocks Driving 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.

One out of the three major indices traded up today The three major indices are trading lower today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading down 6.62 points (0.0%) at 17,862 as of Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015, 4:20 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,395 issues advancing vs. 1,696 declining with 137 unchanged.

The Transportation industry as a whole was unchanged today versus the S&P 500, which was unchanged. Top gainers within the Transportation industry included Sino-Global Shipping America ( SINO), up 2.0%, FreeSeas ( FREE), up 3.0%, Universal Truckload Services ( UACL), up 3.9%, China Eastern Airlines ( CEA), up 3.0% and USD Partners ( USDP), up 2.6%.

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

Universal Truckload Services ( UACL) is one of the companies that pushed the Transportation industry higher today. Universal Truckload Services was up $0.92 (3.9%) to $24.25 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 43,353 shares of Universal Truckload Services exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 26,000 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $23.37-$24.46 after having opened the day at $23.37 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $23.33.

Universal Truckload Services, Inc. provides transportation and logistics solutions in the United States, Mexico, and Canada. Universal Truckload Services has a market cap of $690.8 million and is part of the services sector. Shares are down 18.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 3 analysts who rate Universal Truckload Services a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Universal Truckload Services as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on UACL go as follows:

  • UACL's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 13.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 15.5%. 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 significantly increased by 82.89% to $18.36 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, UNIVERSAL TRUCKLOAD SERVICES has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 6.38%.
  • UNIVERSAL TRUCKLOAD SERVICES' earnings per share from the most recent quarter came in slightly below the year earlier quarter. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. We feel it is likely to report a decline in earnings in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, UNIVERSAL TRUCKLOAD SERVICES increased its bottom line by earning $1.69 versus $1.58 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 7.1% in earnings ($1.57 versus $1.69).
  • Current return on equity is lower than its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of weakness within the company. Compared to other companies in the Road & Rail industry and the overall market, UNIVERSAL TRUCKLOAD SERVICES's return on equity significantly exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Reflecting the weaknesses we have cited, including the decline in the company's earnings per share, UACL has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 14.67% from its price level of one year ago. Looking ahead, although the push and pull of the overall market trend could certainly make a critical difference, we do not see any strong reason stemming from the company's fundamentals that would cause a continuation of last year's decline. In fact, the stock is now selling for less than others in its industry in relation to its current earnings.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: Universal Truckload Services 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.

At the close, FreeSeas ( FREE) was up $0.00 (3.0%) to $0.09 on average volume. Throughout the day, 2,160,684 shares of FreeSeas exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1,972,600 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $0.08-$0.10 after having opened the day at $0.09 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $0.09.

FreeSeas Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides drybulk shipping services. Its vessels carry various drybulk commodities, such as iron ore, grain, and coal, as well as bauxite, phosphate, fertilizers, steel products, cement, sugar, and rice. FreeSeas has a market cap of $10.2 million and is part of the services sector. Shares are down 0.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are no analysts who rate FreeSeas a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

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

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

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on FREE go as follows:

  • FREE'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 94.24%, 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.
  • FREE's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.62 is somewhat low overall, but it is high when compared to the industry average, implying that the management of the debt levels should be evaluated further. Even though the debt-to-equity ratio shows mixed results, the company's quick ratio of 0.11 is very low and demonstrates very weak liquidity.
  • The revenue fell significantly faster than the industry average of 10.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 45.6%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.
  • Compared to other companies in the Marine industry and the overall market, FREESEAS INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • FREESEAS INC reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. During the past fiscal year, FREESEAS INC continued to lose money by earning -$29.37 versus -$220.50 in the prior year.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: FreeSeas 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.

Sino-Global Shipping America ( SINO) was another company that pushed the Transportation industry higher today. Sino-Global Shipping America was up $0.03 (2.0%) to $1.55 on average volume. Throughout the day, 73,956 shares of Sino-Global Shipping America exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 50,600 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $1.47-$1.63 after having opened the day at $1.49 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $1.52.

Sino-Global Shipping America, Ltd. provides customized shipping agency services primarily in the People's Republic of China. The company also offers shipping and chartering services, and inland transportation management services, as well as ship and crew management services for dry bulk ships. Sino-Global Shipping America has a market cap of $10.3 million and is part of the services sector. Shares are down 3.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there is 1 analyst who rates Sino-Global Shipping America a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Sino-Global Shipping America 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 SINO go as follows:

  • SINO'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 25.88%, which is also worse than the performance of the S&P 500 Index. 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, on the basis of net income growth from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed compared to the Transportation Infrastructure industry average, but is greater than that of the S&P 500. The net income increased by 20.7% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $0.28 million to $0.33 million.
  • 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. When compared to other companies in the Transportation Infrastructure industry and the overall market, SINO-GLOBAL SHIPPING AMERICA's return on equity is below that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The revenue fell significantly faster than the industry average of 28.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 21.4%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to not be hurting the bottom line, shown by stable earnings per share.
  • SINO-GLOBAL SHIPPING AMERICA reported flat earnings per share in the most recent quarter. This company has not demonstrated a clear trend in earnings over the past 2 years, making it difficult to accurately predict earnings for the coming year. During the past fiscal year, SINO-GLOBAL SHIPPING AMERICA turned its bottom line around by earning $0.35 versus -$0.39 in the prior year.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: Sino-Global Shipping America 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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