NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Frontline (FRO) were plunging, down 11.76% to $2.70 on heavy volume in midday trading Friday, after the oil tanker shipping company released its first quarter 2015 earnings results earlier today.
For the quarter, the company's operating profit jumped to $39.5 million from $5.6 million a year earlier, beating expectations for $36 million, according to analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.
On a per share basis, Frontline posted earnings of 25 cents per share, beating the consensus estimate of 18 cents per share.
Also, the company announced that it has entered into a new agreement with Ship Finance International (SFL) to reduce its costs, giving the U.S. company a 27.7% stake in Frontline, according to Reuters.
Ship Finance was spun off from Frontline in 2004, and is also controlled by shipping tycoon John Fredriksen.
About 6.26 million shares have exchanged hands as of 12:26 p.m. ET today, compared to its average trading volume of about 2.85 million shares a day.
Bermuda-based Frontline is a shipping company engaged primarily in the ownership and operation of oil tanker.
The company operates oil tankers through subsidiaries and partnerships located in the Bahamas, Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, India, the Isle of Man, Liberia, Norway, the U.K., and Singapore.
Frontline's principal focus is the transportation of crude oil and its related refined dirty petroleum cargoes for oil companies and oil trading companies.
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 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 poor profit margins and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself."
You can view the full analysis from the report here: FRO Ratings Report