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.

Trade-Ideas LLC identified Valero Energy ( VLO) as an unusual social activity candidate. In addition to specific proprietary factors, Trade-Ideas identified Valero Energy as such a stock due to the following factors:

  • VLO has 10x the normal benchmarked social activity for this time of the day compared to its average of 12.16 mentions/day.
  • VLO has an average dollar-volume (as measured by average daily share volume multiplied by share price) of $367.7 million.

Identifying stocks with 'Unusual Social Activity' tends to be a valuable process for traders looking to capitalize on the 'talk of the town' stocks that are basking in far more attention from the StockTwits financial community than normal. Good press? Bad press? It ultimately doesn't matter if it's good or bad if you know how to trade around the sentiment. Certain hedge funds use such data for their proprietary algorithms and it is not uncommon to see shared social sentiment play itself out in a stock's price trend.

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More details on VLO:

Valero Energy Corporation operates as an independent petroleum refining and marketing company in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom, and Ireland. It operates through two segments, Refining and Ethanol. The stock currently has a dividend yield of 2.7%. VLO has a PE ratio of 8.6. Currently there are 10 analysts that rate Valero Energy a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 2 rate it a hold.

The average volume for Valero Energy has been 7.7 million shares per day over the past 30 days. Valero Energy has a market cap of $30.9 billion and is part of the basic materials sector and energy industry. The stock has a beta of 1.84 and a short float of 2.1% with 1.76 days to cover. Shares are up 21.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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TheStreetRatings.com Analysis:

TheStreet Quant Ratings rates Valero Energy as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its attractive valuation levels, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.31, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels. Although the company had a strong debt-to-equity ratio, its quick ratio of 0.97 is somewhat weak and could be cause for future problems.
  • 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 on the basis of return on equity, VALERO ENERGY CORP has underperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has exceeded that of the S&P 500.
  • Regardless of the drop in revenue, the company managed to outperform against the industry average of 20.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 19.1%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • The change in net income from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500 and greatly outperformed compared to the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry average. The net income has decreased by 10.3% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, dropping from $1,288.00 million to $1,155.00 million.

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