As 2011 comes to a close, it's a great time to look back at what happened to the stocks that interest you. By making sure you know the important things that a company accomplished -- as well as the setbacks it experienced -- you can make a better decision about whether it's a smart investment for your portfolio.
Today, let's take a look at Ultra Petroleum
Stats on Ultra Petroleum
|2011 YTD Return||(36.7%)|
|Market Cap||$4.61 billion|
|1-Year Revenue Growth||21.3%|
|1-Year Earnings Growth||(31.2%)|
|Cash / Debt||$12 million / $1.84 billion|
|CAPS Rating (out of 5)||*****|
Source: S&P Capital IQ.
Why did Ultra Petroleum do so badly this year?
As a major producer of natural gas, Ultra Petroleum largely relies on the gas market for its profits. In 2011, gas prices fell from already low levels, mostly trading between $3 and $5 per thousand cubic feet and ending near the lows of the year. Yet low prices haven't stopped the industry from producing more gas, with 20% growth in just the past five years.
But Ultra Petroleum has an enviable position in the natural gas industry as the low-cost provider. Companies like Chesapeake Energy
One good sign for Ultra is that rivals are moving away from gas production. Chesapeake and SandRidge Energy
Eventually, demand from new projects like Cheniere Energy's
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