NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Albany International Corporation (NYSE:AIN) has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, revenue growth and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results. Highlights from the ratings report include:
- Looking at where the stock is today compared to one year ago, we find that it is not only higher, but it has also clearly outperformed the rise in the S&P 500 over the same period. Although other factors naturally played a role, the company's strong earnings growth was key. Looking ahead, unless broad bear market conditions prevail, we still see more upside potential for this stock, despite the fact that it has already risen over the past year.
- ALBANY INTL CORP 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. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, ALBANY INTL CORP turned its bottom line around by earning $1.21 versus -$0.77 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.74 versus $1.21).
- The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Machinery industry. The net income increased by 359.7% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $3.63 million to $16.67 million.
- AIN's revenue growth trails the industry average of 30.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 9.4%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
- The debt-to-equity ratio is somewhat low, currently at 0.87, and is less than that of the industry average, implying that there has been a relatively successful effort in the management of debt levels. To add to this, AIN has a quick ratio of 1.74, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
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