3 Stocks Improving Performance Of The Transportation Industry

All three major indices traded up today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 242 points (1.4%) at 17,615 as of Monday, Aug. 10, 2015, 4:20 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 2,351 issues advancing vs. 737 declining with 111 unchanged.

The Transportation industry as a whole closed the day up 1.4% versus the S&P 500, which was up 1.3%. Top gainers within the Transportation industry included Sino-Global Shipping America ( SINO), up 1.6%, Ultrapetrol Bahamas ( ULTR), up 17.3%, Rand Logistics ( RLOG), up 1.5%, CHC Group ( HELI), up 6.2% and Air T ( AIRT), up 2.7%.

TheStreet Ratings Group would like to highlight 3 stocks pushing the industry higher today:

Rand Logistics ( RLOG) is one of the companies that pushed the Transportation industry higher today. Rand Logistics was up $0.04 (1.5%) to $2.69 on light volume. Throughout the day, 12,096 shares of Rand Logistics exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 30,000 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $2.61-$2.80 after having opened the day at $2.74 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $2.65.

Rand Logistics, Inc., a shipping company, provides bulk freight shipping services. It offers port-to-port services to Canada and the United States in the Great Lakes region. Rand Logistics has a market cap of $48.5 million and is part of the services sector. Shares are down 32.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there is 1 analyst who rates Rand Logistics a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Rand Logistics as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its deteriorating net income, generally high debt management risk, disappointing return on equity, generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself and feeble growth in its earnings per share.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on RLOG go as follows:

  • 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 Marine industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 116.2% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from -$9.98 million to -$21.58 million.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is very high at 3.76 and currently higher than the industry average, implying increased risk associated with the management of debt levels within the company. Along with this, the company manages to maintain a quick ratio of 0.26, which clearly demonstrates the inability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • Current return on equity is lower than its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of weakness within the company. Compared to other companies in the Marine industry and the overall market, RAND LOGISTICS INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Despite any intermediate fluctuations, we have only bad news to report on this stock's performance over the last year: it has tumbled by 56.96%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 108.33% compared to the year-earlier 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.
  • RAND LOGISTICS 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. The company has reported a trend of declining earnings per share over the past two years. However, the consensus estimate suggests that this trend should reverse in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, RAND LOGISTICS INC reported poor results of -$0.65 versus -$0.44 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings (-$0.07 versus -$0.65).

You can view the full analysis from the report here: Rand Logistics Ratings Report

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At the close, Ultrapetrol Bahamas ( ULTR) was up $0.14 (17.3%) to $0.95 on average volume. Throughout the day, 40,545 shares of Ultrapetrol Bahamas exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 45,500 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $0.80-$0.96 after having opened the day at $0.96 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $0.81.

Ultrapetrol (Bahamas) Limited, an industrial shipping company, provides marine transportation services in South America, Europe, Central America, North America, and Asia. The company operates in three segments: River Business, Offshore Supply Business, and Ocean Business. Ultrapetrol Bahamas has a market cap of $119.6 million and is part of the services sector. Shares are down 62.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 2 analysts who rate Ultrapetrol Bahamas a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Ultrapetrol Bahamas as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its generally high debt management risk, disappointing return on equity, weak operating cash flow, poor profit margins and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on ULTR go as follows:

  • The debt-to-equity ratio of 1.31 is relatively high when compared with the industry average, suggesting a need for better debt level management. Along with the unfavorable debt-to-equity ratio, ULTR maintains a poor quick ratio of 0.99, which illustrates the inability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • Return on equity has greatly decreased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of major weakness within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Marine industry and the overall market, ULTRAPETROL BAHAMAS LTD's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to $0.90 million or 93.59% when compared to the same quarter last year. In conjunction, when comparing current results to the industry average, ULTRAPETROL BAHAMAS LTD has marginally lower results.
  • The gross profit margin for ULTRAPETROL BAHAMAS LTD is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 29.49%. Regardless of ULTR's low profit margin, it has managed to increase from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, ULTR's net profit margin of -6.03% significantly underperformed when compared to the industry average.
  • Despite any intermediate fluctuations, we have only bad news to report on this stock's performance over the last year: it has tumbled by 74.86%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 33.33% compared to the year-earlier quarter. Turning toward the future, the fact that the stock has come down in price over the past year should not necessarily be interpreted as a negative; it could be one of the factors that may help make the stock attractive down the road. Right now, however, we believe that it is too soon to buy.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: Ultrapetrol Bahamas Ratings Report

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Sino-Global Shipping America ( SINO) was another company that pushed the Transportation industry higher today. Sino-Global Shipping America was up $0.02 (1.6%) to $1.31 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 115,237 shares of Sino-Global Shipping America exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 27,700 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $1.19-$1.43 after having opened the day at $1.27 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $1.29.

Sino-Global Shipping America, Ltd. provides customized shipping agency services primarily in the People's Republic of China. The company also offers shipping and chartering services, and inland transportation management services, as well as ship and crew management services for dry bulk ships. Sino-Global Shipping America has a market cap of $9.4 million and is part of the services sector. Shares are down 18.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there is 1 analyst who rates Sino-Global Shipping America a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Sino-Global Shipping America as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in net income, robust revenue growth and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including weak operating cash flow and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on SINO go as follows:

  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500 and greatly outperformed compared to the Transportation Infrastructure industry average. The net income increased by 7.7% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $0.33 million to $0.35 million.
  • SINO's revenue growth trails the industry average of 45.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 20.7%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
  • The gross profit margin for SINO-GLOBAL SHIPPING AMERICA is rather high; currently it is at 52.97%. Regardless of SINO's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, SINO's net profit margin of 13.89% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • The share price of SINO-GLOBAL SHIPPING AMERICA has not done very well: it is down 23.50% and has underperformed the S&P 500, in part reflecting the company's sharply declining earnings per share when compared to the year-earlier quarter. 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.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$0.90 million or 215.78% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: Sino-Global Shipping America Ratings Report

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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.