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TheStreet.com Ratings downgraded BlackRock (BLK) to "hold." The company provides investment management, risk management and advisory services.
The numbers: Fiscal first-quarter revenue fell 24% to $987 million as net income declined 65% to $84 million and earnings per share dropped 66% to 62 cents. Operating margin fell 74 basis points to 30% and net margin dropped 1,007 basis points to 8.5%. BlackRock's financial position is strong with just $1.1 billion of debt, compared to $1.8 billion of cash. Although BlackRock is one of the strongest players in the financial sector and its recently announced acquisition of Barclays Global Investors is a long-run positive, its share price has risen quickly and it is now trading at a premium.
The stock: BlackRock has ascended 22% in 2009, outperforming all major U.S. indexes. The stock trades at a high price-to-earnings ratio of 35 and offers a low 1.9% dividend yield.TheStreet.com Ratings downgraded EZCORP (EZPW) to "hold." The company provides short-term credit to individuals in loan stores and pawn shops throughout the U.S. The numbers: Fiscal second-quarter revenue rose 38% to $156 million. Net income increased 41% to $18 million, but earnings per share jumped a more modest 23% to 37 cents due to a higher share count. Operating margin remained flat at 17% and net margin improved 27 basis points to 12%. The company has an outstanding liquidity position, as reflected by $55 million of cash and a quick ratio of 3.6, and has a low debt-to-equity ratio of 0.11. EZCORP has dropped 21% since June 11, when it lowered its sales and net income guidance due to a demand drop.
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