NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Transocean  (RIG - Get Report) shares are climbing 0.2% to $14.70 in afternoon trading on Wednesday as rising oil prices benefited the oil sector today. 

Industry standard Brent crude for May delivery is up 3.81% to $57.21 per barrel, while West Texas crude for May delivery is up 4.96% to $49.96 per barrel in trading today.

The increase in oil prices halts a four day slide for the commodity as investors were concerned that Iran was close to brokering a deal with a Western coalition led by the U.S. over its nuclear enrichment program. A deal would be the precursor to the lifting of sanctions against the country, resulting in a higher supply of Iranian oil on the market.

Oil prices are climbing today following the release of the weekly U.S. stock builds data today which showed crude inventories rising 4.8 million barrels to 471.4 million in the week to March 27. While the increase pushed inventories to a record high for the twelfth straight week, it failed to reach the 5.2 million barrels the American Petroleum Institute forecast yesterday.

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

"We rate TRANSOCEAN LTD (RIG) a SELL. This is driven by several weaknesses, 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 deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity, weak operating cash flow, 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 Energy Equipment & Services industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 417.2% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $233.00 million to -$739.00 million.
  • Return on equity has greatly decreased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of major weakness within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Energy Equipment & Services industry and the overall market, TRANSOCEAN LTD's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $566.00 million or 26.77% 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.
  • Despite any intermediate fluctuations, we have only bad news to report on this stock's performance over the last year: it has tumbled by 62.13%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 438.33% 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.
  • TRANSOCEAN LTD has experienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from the same quarter a year ago. The company has reported a trend of declining earnings per share over the past two years. However, the consensus estimate suggests that this trend should reverse in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, TRANSOCEAN LTD swung to a loss, reporting -$5.25 versus $3.85 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.50 versus -$5.25).
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: RIG Ratings Report
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