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Cass to Benefit From Shipping Slump

Cass has posted consistent growth in revenue and EPS over the past two years. Third-quarter revenue climbed 1.3% to $25.1 million from a year earlier, while net income advanced 11.8% to $5.23 million. Gross margins widened to 34.22% from 31.08%, and operating margins climbed to 29.8% from 27.89%.

A debt-to-equity ratio of 0.03 indicates miniscule debt. Also, Cass has $100 million in cash reserves and about $850 million in total liabilities. The company operates within the IT services industry, which includes more well-known names such as Teletech Holdings (TTEC - Get Report), Wright Express (WXS) and Euronet Worldwide (EEFT - Get Report), whose stocks have declined significantly this year. Still, Cass is trading at an industry discount based on price to earnings, price to cash flow and price to book. The shares, which have risen 2% this year, are expensive based on price to sales.

Cass has a beta of 0.25 and a dividend yield of 1.41%. The company faces risks inherent to its size, as it only has 9 million shares outstanding. Some 19,207 shares are traded on an average day, indicating weak stock-market liquidity.

Cass is a stock for buy-and-hold investors. Value and fundamentals are no guarantee of price appreciation in a down market. Also, small-market capitalization and thin trading volume make Cass a comparatively illiquid security. If the company misses earnings guidance or issues cautious warnings, rapid depreciation is likely. Consider macroeconomic and idiosyncratic risk before investing in Cass.
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