NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Industrial stocks have underperformed the broader market to date, but airline stocks have had some of the sector's biggest losses.

The S&P 500 Industrials Index dropped 4.1%, compared to the overall S&P 500 index, which rose 0.2%. Below are the worst ten in the sector.

But sometimes the stocks that have dropped the most are the best busy. So, TheStreet paired each of these tickers with TheStreet Ratings to let you know if you should buy, sell, or hold these best performing stocks. 

TheStreet Ratings, TheStreet's proprietary ratings tool, projects a stock's total return potential over a 12-month period including both price appreciation and dividends. Based on 32 major data points, TheStreet Ratings uses a quantitative approach to rating over 4,300 stocks to predict return potential for the next year. The model is both objective, using elements such as volatility of past operating revenues, financial strength, and company cash flows, and subjective, including expected equities market returns, future interest rates, implied industry outlook and forecasted company earnings.

Buying an S&P 500 stock that TheStreet Ratings rated a "buy" yielded a 16.56% return in 2014 beating the S&P 500 Total Return Index by 304 basis points. Buying a Russell 2000 stock that TheStreet Ratings rated a "buy" yielded a 9.5% return in 2014, beating the Russell 2000 index, including dividends reinvested, by 460 basis points last year.

PBI Chart PBI data by YCharts

10. Pitney Bowes Inc. (PBI - Get Report)
Sub-Industry: Office Services & Supplies
Market Cap: $4.2 billion
Rating: Buy, B-
Year-to-date return: -14.6%

Pitney Bowes Inc. provides technology products and solutions in the United States and internationally. The company operates through Small and Medium Business Solutions, Enterprise Business Solutions, and Digital Commerce Solutions segments.

TheStreet said: "We rate PITNEY BOWES INC (PBI) a BUY. This is driven by a number of strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, notable return on equity and expanding profit margins. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated."

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

  • PITNEY BOWES 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 year. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, PITNEY BOWES INC increased its bottom line by earning $1.48 versus $1.41 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.90 versus $1.48).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Commercial Services & Supplies industry. The net income increased by 80.4% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $44.67 million to $80.61 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. Compared to other companies in the Commercial Services & Supplies industry and the overall market, PITNEY BOWES INC's return on equity significantly exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for PITNEY BOWES INC is rather high; currently it is at 63.03%. Regardless of PBI's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, PBI's net profit margin of 9.05% compares favorably to the industry average.
  • PBI, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 1.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 5.0%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.

DAL ChartDAL data by YCharts

9. Delta Air Lines Inc. (DAL - Get Report)
Sub-Industry: Airlines
Market Cap: $33.5 billion
Rating: Buy, A-
Year-to-date return: -16.5%

Delta Air Lines, Inc. provides scheduled air transportation for passengers and cargo worldwide. The company operates in two segments, Airline and Refinery.

TheStreet said: "We rate DELTA AIR LINES INC (DAL) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations, solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share and increase in net income. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity."

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

  • DAL's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 3.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 5.3%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • Compared to where it was a year ago today, the stock is now trading at a higher level, reflecting both the market's overall trend during that period and the fact that the company's earnings growth has been robust. The stock's price rise over the last year has driven it to a level which is somewhat expensive compared to the rest of its industry. We feel, however, that other strengths this company displays justify these higher price levels.
  • DELTA AIR LINES INC reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, DELTA AIR LINES INC reported lower earnings of $0.75 versus $12.29 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($4.42 versus $0.75).
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 72.02% to $1,636.00 million when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow, DELTA AIR LINES INC's average is still marginally south of the industry average growth rate of 74.81%.
  • The company, on the basis of net income growth from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed compared to the Airlines industry average, but is greater than that of the S&P 500. The net income increased by 250.2% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $213.00 million to $746.00 million.
CHRW Chart CHRW data by YCharts

8. C.H. Robinson Worldwide Inc. (CHRW - Get Report)
Sub-Industry: Air Freight & Logistics
Market Cap: $9.1 billion
Rating: Buy, B
Year-to-date return: -16.7%

C.H. Robinson Worldwide, Inc., a third party logistics company, provides freight transportation services and logistics solutions to companies in various industries worldwide.

TheStreet said: "We rate C H ROBINSON WORLDWIDE INC (CHRW) a BUY. This is driven by several positive factors, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth, increase in net income, reasonable valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself."

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

  • CHRW's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 0.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 5.0%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • C H ROBINSON WORLDWIDE INC has improved earnings per share by 15.9% 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 year. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, C H ROBINSON WORLDWIDE INC increased its bottom line by earning $3.05 versus $2.65 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($3.30 versus $3.05).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Air Freight & Logistics industry. The net income increased by 14.3% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $93.19 million to $106.48 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 595.25% to $100.40 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, C H ROBINSON WORLDWIDE INC has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 13.83%.
PCP Chart PCP data by YCharts

7. Precision Castparts Corp. (PCP)
Sub-Industry: Aerospace & Defense
Market Cap: $27.6 billion
Rating: Buy, B-
Year-to-date return: -17%

Precision Castparts Corp. manufactures and sells metal components and products to the aerospace, power, and general industrial and other markets worldwide. The company operates through three segments: Investment Cast Products, Forged Products, and Airframe Products.

TheStreet said: "We rate PRECISION CASTPARTS CORP (PCP) a BUY. This is driven by several positive factors, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, good cash flow from operations and expanding profit margins. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income."

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

  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.42, 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 0.79 is somewhat weak and could be cause for future problems.
  • Net operating cash flow has remained constant at $460.00 million with no significant change when compared to the same quarter last year. Along with maintaining stable cash flow from operations, the firm exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of -46.55%.
  • 35.14% is the gross profit margin for PRECISION CASTPARTS CORP which we consider to be strong. Regardless of PCP's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 5.39% trails the industry average.
  • PRECISION CASTPARTS CORP 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 suffered a declining pattern of earnings per share over the past year. However, we anticipate this trend reversing over the coming year. During the past fiscal year, PRECISION CASTPARTS CORP reported lower earnings of $10.71 versus $11.95 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($12.90 versus $10.71).
  • PCP, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 3.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 0.5%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
UNP Chart UNP data by YCharts

6. Union Pacific Corp. (UNP - Get Report)
Sub-Industry: Railroads
Market Cap: $83.8 billion
Rating: Buy, A-
Year-to-date return: -19.9%

Union Pacific Corporation, through its subsidiary, Union Pacific Railroad Company, operates railroads in the United States.

TheStreet said: "We rate UNION PACIFIC CORP (UNP) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its growth in earnings per share, increase in net income, notable return on equity, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself."

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

  • UNION PACIFIC CORP has improved earnings per share by 9.2% 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. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, UNION PACIFIC CORP increased its bottom line by earning $5.76 versus $4.72 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($6.00 versus $5.76).
  • The company, on the basis of net income growth from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly outperformed against the S&P 500 and exceeded that of the Road & Rail industry average. The net income increased by 5.8% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $1,088.00 million to $1,151.00 million.
  • 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. When compared to other companies in the Road & Rail industry and the overall market, UNION PACIFIC CORP's return on equity exceeds that of the industry average and significantly exceeds that of the S&P 500.
  • 43.96% is the gross profit margin for UNION PACIFIC CORP which we consider to be strong. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 20.50% is above that of the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $2,064.00 million or 16.80% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow, UNION PACIFIC CORP's average is still marginally south of the industry average growth rate of 23.65%.


NSC Chart NSC data by YCharts

5. Norfolk Southern Corp. (NSC)
Sub-Industry: Railroads
Market Cap: $26.6 billion
Rating: Buy, B-
Year-to-date return: -20.3%

Norfolk Southern Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, engages in the rail transportation of raw materials, intermediate products, and finished goods. As of December 31, 2014, it operated approximately 20,000 miles of road in 22 states and the District of Columbia.

TheStreet said: "We rate NORFOLK SOUTHERN CORP (NSC) a BUY. This is driven by a few notable strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its reasonable valuation levels, good cash flow from operations, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and notable return on equity. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income."

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

  • The debt-to-equity ratio is somewhat low, currently at 0.76, and is less than that of the industry average, implying that there has been a relatively successful effort in the management of debt levels. Although the company had a strong debt-to-equity ratio, its quick ratio of 0.74 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 Road & Rail industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, NORFOLK SOUTHERN CORP has underperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has exceeded that of the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has slightly increased to $605.00 million or 2.89% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow, NORFOLK SOUTHERN CORP's cash flow growth rate is still lower than the industry average growth rate of 23.65%.
  • NSC, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 0.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 4.5%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
LUV Chart LUV data by YCharts

4. Southwest Airlines Co. (LUV - Get Report)
Sub-Industry: Airlines
Market Cap: $22.1 billion
Rating: Buy, A-
Year-to-date return: -21.8%

Southwest Airlines Co. operates passenger airlines that provide scheduled air transportation services in the United States and near-international markets. As of December 31, 2014, it operated 665 Boeing 737 aircraft; and had 12 Boeing 717 aircraft.

TheStreet said: "We rate SOUTHWEST AIRLINES (LUV) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth, solid stock price performance, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and notable return on equity. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins."

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

  • LUV's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 3.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 6.0%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • SOUTHWEST AIRLINES 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. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, SOUTHWEST AIRLINES increased its bottom line by earning $1.65 versus $1.06 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($3.34 versus $1.65).
  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 200.00% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 27.88% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. Looking ahead, the stock's sharp rise over the last year has already helped drive it to a level which is relatively expensive compared to the rest of its industry. We feel, however, that other strengths this company displays justify these higher price levels.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $1,452.00 million or 29.75% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow, SOUTHWEST AIRLINES's cash flow growth rate is still lower than the industry average growth rate of 74.81%.
  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.39, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels. Despite the fact that LUV's debt-to-equity ratio is low, the quick ratio, which is currently 0.57, displays a potential problem in covering short-term cash needs.
JOY Chart JOY data by YCharts

3. Joy Global Inc. (JOY)
Sub-Industry: Airlines
Market Cap: $3.5 billion
Rating: Hold, C
Year-to-date return: -22.2%

Joy Global Inc. manufactures and services mining equipment for the extraction of coal, copper, iron ore, oil sands, gold, and other minerals. It operates in two segments, Underground Mining Machinery and Surface Mining Equipment.

TheStreet said: "We rate JOY GLOBAL INC (JOY) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed - some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and reasonable valuation levels. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including feeble growth in the company's earnings per share, deteriorating net income and disappointing return on equity."

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

  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.47, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels. Along with the favorable debt-to-equity ratio, the company maintains an adequate quick ratio of 1.03, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • JOY, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 11.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 12.8%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • The gross profit margin for JOY GLOBAL INC is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 32.52%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 4.77% trails that of the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $71.12 million or 49.79% 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.

KSU Chart KSU data by YCharts

2. Kansas City Southern (KSU - Get Report)
Sub-Industry: Railroads
Market Cap: $10.1 billion
Rating: Buy, B
Year-to-date return: -25.3%

Kansas City Southern, through its subsidiaries, engages in the freight rail transportation business.

TheStreet said: "We rate KANSAS CITY SOUTHERN (KSU) a BUY. This is driven by several positive factors, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its growth in earnings per share, increase in net income, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself."

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

  • KANSAS CITY SOUTHERN has improved earnings per share by 7.0% 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 year. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, KANSAS CITY SOUTHERN increased its bottom line by earning $4.56 versus $3.18 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($4.68 versus $4.56).
  • The company, on the basis of net income growth from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly outperformed against the S&P 500 and exceeded that of the Road & Rail industry average. The net income increased by 7.6% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $93.70 million to $100.80 million.
  • 42.50% is the gross profit margin for KANSAS CITY SOUTHERN which we consider to be strong. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Regardless of the strong results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 16.71% trails the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $162.50 million or 13.39% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow, KANSAS CITY SOUTHERN's cash flow growth rate is still lower than the industry average growth rate of 23.65%.
  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.55, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels. Even though the company has a strong debt-to-equity ratio, the quick ratio of 0.37 is very weak and demonstrates a lack of ability to pay short-term obligations.
AAL Chart AAL data by YCharts

1. American Airlines Group Inc. (AAL)
Sub-Industry: Airlines
Market Cap: $27.7 billion
Rating: Hold, C
Year-to-date return: -25.5%

American Airlines Group Inc., through its subsidiaries, operates in the airline industry. As of December 31, 2014, the company operated 983 mainline jets, as well as 566 regional aircrafts through regional airline subsidiaries and third-party regional carriers.

TheStreet said: "We rate AMERICAN AIRLINES GROUP INC (AAL) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed - some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its impressive record of earnings per share growth, notable return on equity and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including generally higher debt management risk and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself."

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

  • AMERICAN AIRLINES GROUP 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. We feel that this trend should continue. This trend suggests that the performance of the business is improving. During the past fiscal year, AMERICAN AIRLINES GROUP INC turned its bottom line around by earning $3.92 versus -$8.48 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($9.03 versus $3.92).
  • 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 Airlines industry and the overall market, AMERICAN AIRLINES GROUP INC's return on equity significantly exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • AAL, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 3.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 1.7%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.
  • In its most recent trading session, AAL has closed at a price level that was not very different from its closing price of one year earlier. This is probably due to its weak earnings growth as well as other mixed factors. The fact that the stock is now selling for less than others in its industry in relation to its current earnings is not reason enough to justify a buy rating at this time.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is very high at 6.85 and currently higher than the industry average, implying increased risk associated with the management of debt levels within the company. Along with the unfavorable debt-to-equity ratio, AAL maintains a poor quick ratio of 0.83, which illustrates the inability to avoid short-term cash problems.