NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Bill Barrett (BBG) stock coverage was initiated by analysts at Canaccord Genuity with a "buy" rating and a $12 price target.

The Colorado-based company is an independent energy company that acquires, explores, and develops oil and natural gas resources in the U.S.

The Wattenberg Northeast Extension field in Colorado is the primary driver of future growth. The company is gaining operational momentum as results from its extended-reach later program keep getting better, analysts said. 

"Bill Barrett has an under-appreciated financial position, with 90% of crude volumes hedged in 2015 and 45% in 2016," analysts noted.

Shares of Bill Barrett closed at $8.43 on Monday. 

Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates BILL BARRETT CORP as a Sell with a ratings score of D. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate BILL BARRETT CORP (BBG) a SELL. This is driven by multiple 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 generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself and weak operating cash flow."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • BBG'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 68.99%, 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.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $53.83 million or 28.41% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite a decrease in cash flow BILL BARRETT CORP is still fairing well by exceeding its industry average cash flow growth rate of -53.17%.
  • 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, BILL BARRETT CORP's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for BILL BARRETT CORP is rather high; currently it is at 64.79%. Regardless of BBG's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, BBG's net profit margin of -23.92% significantly underperformed when compared to the industry average.
  • BILL BARRETT CORP has improved earnings per share by 11.1% 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. However, we anticipate underperformance relative to this pattern in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, BILL BARRETT CORP turned its bottom line around by earning $0.30 versus -$4.06 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 243.3% in earnings (-$0.43 versus $0.30).
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: BBG Ratings Report