NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Pope Resources (Nasdaq:POPE) has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company is trading at a premium valuation based on our review of its current price compared to such things as earnings and book value. Highlights from the ratings report include:
- Powered by its strong earnings growth of 720.00% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 57.93% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. We feel that the stock's sharp appreciation over the last year has driven it to a price level which is now somewhat expensive compared to the rest of its industry. The other strengths this company shows, however, justify the higher price levels.
- Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 799.17% to $7.61 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, POPE RESOURCES/DE -LP has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -6.21%.
- The gross profit margin for POPE RESOURCES/DE -LP is rather high; currently it is at 52.70%. It has increased significantly from the same period last year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 20.80% is above that of the industry average.
- POPE RESOURCES/DE -LP reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. During the past fiscal year, POPE RESOURCES/DE -LP turned its bottom line around by earning $0.42 versus -$0.07 in the prior year.
- POPE's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 2.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 196.2%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
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