NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Navigators Group (Nasdaq:NAVG) has been downgraded by TheStreet Ratings from buy to hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, reasonable valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and feeble growth in the company's earnings per share. Highlights from the ratings report include:
- The company's current return on equity has slightly decreased from the same quarter one year prior. This implies a minor weakness in the organization. When compared to other companies in the Insurance industry and the overall market, NAVIGATORS GROUP INC's return on equity is below that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
- The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Insurance industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 146.3% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $17.05 million to -$7.89 million.
- NAVG's share price has surged by 25.17% over the past year, reflecting the market's general trend, despite their weak earnings growth during the last quarter. Regarding the stock's future course, our hold rating indicates that we do not recommend additional investment in this stock despite its gains in the past year.
- NAVG's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.14 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels.
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