Analysts downgrade InterOil

ANALYSTS have downgraded InterOil from a hold rating to sell, blaming sharply declining earnings, a low gross profit margin and a net profit margin that trails the industry average.
Analysts downgrade InterOil Analysts downgrade InterOil Analysts downgrade InterOil Analysts downgrade InterOil Analysts downgrade InterOil

TheStreet Ratings report noted that InterOil's share price was down 22.69% and had underperformed in the Standard & Poor's 500 stock market index, which in part reflected the company's sharply declining earnings per share when compared to the year-earlier quarter.

"The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself, feeble growth in its earnings per share, unimpressive growth in net income, poor profit margins and weak operating cash flow," analysts said.

Following drawn-out commercialisation talks, InterOil last month confirmed it had agreed to sell Total a gross 61.3% interest in petroleum retention licence 15, which contains the Elk-Antelope gas fields in the Gulf Province of Papua New Guinea.

The deal also grants Total an exclusive right to negotiate a farm-in to all InterOil's exploration licences in PNG.

InterOil said it was a "transformational transaction to monetise InterOil's Elk-Antelope fields", while allowing the company to maintain a material 30% interest in the integrated LNG development.

But the company promptly lost more than a third of its market value as shares tumbled 37% to $US55.50 in New York following the December announcement.

They were last trading at $51.61.

"The share price of InterOil has not done very well: it is down 22.69% and has underperformed in the S&P 500," analysts added.

"Looking ahead, other than the push or pull of the broad market, we do not see anything in the company's numbers that may help reverse the decline experienced over the past 12 months."


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