NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Penn West Petroleum (PWE) are slipping by 1.29% to $1.14 on strong trading volume on Thursday afternoon, as the energy sector takes a hit from the decline in oil prices.

The price of the commodity is trading in the red today following the release of data from the Energy Information Administration, which showed U.S. crude supplies grew more than expected last week.

Penn West Petroleum is a Canada-based senior exploration and production company.

Crude oil (WTI) is lower by 0.21% to $46.60 per barrel this afternoon and Brent crude is falling by 0.92% to $48.70 per barrel, according to the CNBC.com index.

Crude oil inventories jumped by 7.56 million barrels last week, above the 2.6 million barrels gain that had been estimated, the Wall Street Journal reports.

"The ongoing high level of oversupply on the oil market is blocking any increase in oil prices," Commerzbank analysts told clients in a note, the Journal added.

Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates PENN WEST PETROLEUM LTD as a Sell with a ratings score of D. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

We rate PENN WEST PETROLEUM LTD (PWE) a SELL. This is driven by a number of negative factors, 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 feeble growth in its earnings per share, deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity, weak operating cash flow and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

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

  • PENN WEST PETROLEUM LTD 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 earnings per share over the past two years. During the past fiscal year, PENN WEST PETROLEUM LTD reported poor results of -$3.49 versus -$1.66 in the prior year.
  • 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 119.6% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $143.00 million to -$28.00 million.
  • 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 Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, PENN WEST PETROLEUM 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 -$67.00 million or 132.84% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.
  • Despite any intermediate fluctuations, we have only bad news to report on this stock's performance over the last year: it has tumbled by 77.68%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 120.68% 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.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: PWE