NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Teekay Offshore Partners  (TOO - Get Report) stock is dropping by 43.08% to $4.44 on heavy trading volume on Thursday morning, after the company slashed its quarterly cash distribution.

The company cut its quarterly cash distribution to 11 cents per common share, down from 56 cents per common share for the 2015 third quarter. 

The company is reducing its debt levels amid "uncertainty regarding how long it will take for the energy and capital markets to normalize," Teekay said on Thursday. The company's cash flow remains stable and growing, CEO Peter Evensen said in a statement.

"There is currently a dislocation in the capital markets relative to the stability of our businesses such that the partnership's cost of equity has increased to the point where it is currently not an economically attractive source of capital," Evensen continued. 

Based in Bermuda, Teekay provides marine transportation, oil production, storage, towage and floating accommodation services to the offshore oil industry.

So far today, 2.78 million shares of Teekay have traded, versus its 30-day average of about 517,000 shares.

Recently, TheStreet Ratings objectively rated this stock according to its "risk-adjusted" total return prospect over a 12-month investment horizon. Not based on the news in any given day, the rating may differ from Jim Cramer's view or that of this articles's author. TheStreet Ratings has this to say about the recommendation:

We rate TEEKAY OFFSHORE PARTNERS LP as a Sell with a ratings score of D. 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 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 the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes 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 Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 291.9% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $28.52 million to -$54.74 million.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is very high at 2.85 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 0.46, which clearly demonstrates the inability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • 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 on the basis of return on equity, TEEKAY OFFSHORE PARTNERS LP underperformed against that of the industry average and is significantly less than that of 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 54.94%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 376.00% 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.
  • TEEKAY OFFSHORE PARTNERS LP 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, TEEKAY OFFSHORE PARTNERS LP swung to a loss, reporting -$0.22 versus $0.94 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.53 versus -$0.22).
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: TOO