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 Rice Energy ( RICE) as a strong on high relative volume candidate. In addition to specific proprietary factors, Trade-Ideas identified Rice Energy as such a stock due to the following factors:

  • RICE has an average dollar-volume (as measured by average daily share volume multiplied by share price) of $30.5 million.
  • RICE has traded 192,336 shares today.
  • RICE is trading at 5.25 times the normal volume for the stock at this time of day.
  • RICE is trading at a new high 4.08% above yesterday's close.

'Strong on High Relative Volume' stocks are worth watching because major volume moves tend to indicate underlying activity such as M&A events, material stock news, analyst upgrades, insider buying, buying from 'superinvestors,' or that hedge funds and momentum traders are piling into a stock ahead of a catalyst. Regardless of the impetus behind the price and volume action, when a stock moves with strength and volume it can indicate the start of a new trend on which early investors can capitalize. In the event of a well-timed trading opportunity, combining technical indicators with fundamental trends and a disciplined trading methodology should help you take the first steps towards investment success.

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More details on RICE:

Rice Energy Inc., an independent natural gas and oil company, engages in the acquisition, exploration, and development of natural gas, oil, and natural gas liquid (NGL) properties in the Appalachian Basin. The company operates through two segments, Exploration and Production, and Midstream. RICE has a PE ratio of 26. Currently there are 11 analysts that rate Rice Energy a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold.

The average volume for Rice Energy has been 1.8 million shares per day over the past 30 days. Rice Energy has a market cap of $2.4 billion and is part of the basic materials sector and energy industry. Shares are down 16.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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TheStreetRatings.com Analysis:

TheStreet Quant Ratings rates Rice Energy as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself, deteriorating net income, weak operating cash flow and feeble growth in its earnings per share.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Despite any intermediate fluctuations, we have only bad news to report on this stock's performance over the last year: it has tumbled by 29.71%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 100.00% compared to the year-earlier quarter. Although its share price is down sharply from a year ago, do not assume that it can now be tagged as cheap and attractive. The reality is that, based on its current price in relation to its earnings, RICE is still more expensive than most of the other companies in its industry.
  • 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 Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 99.9% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $129.45 million to $0.15 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to $13.08 million or 63.20% 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.
  • RICE ENERGY INC 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. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. We feel it is likely to report a decline in earnings in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, RICE ENERGY INC turned its bottom line around by earning $1.67 versus -$0.12 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 103.6% in earnings (-$0.06 versus $1.67).
  • RICE's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.85 is somewhat low overall, but it is high when compared to the industry average, implying that the management of the debt levels should be evaluated further. Regardless of the somewhat mixed results with the debt-to-equity ratio, the company's quick ratio of 1.45 is sturdy.

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