NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Las Vegas Sands (NYSE:LVS) has been downgraded by TheStreet Ratings from buy to hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth and compelling growth in net income. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself and generally poor debt management. Highlights from the ratings report include:
- The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 11.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 26.2%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
- LAS VEGAS SANDS 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. This trend suggests that the performance of the business is improving. During the past fiscal year, LAS VEGAS SANDS CORP turned its bottom line around by earning $0.50 versus -$0.82 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.02 versus $0.50).
- The company's current return on equity greatly increased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of significant strength within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Hotels, Restaurants & Leisure industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, LAS VEGAS SANDS CORP has underperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has exceeded that of the S&P 500.
- The debt-to-equity ratio of 1.19 is relatively high when compared with the industry average, suggesting a need for better debt level management. Regardless of the company's weak debt-to-equity ratio, LVS has managed to keep a strong quick ratio of 2.25, which demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
- LVS has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 9.99% from its price level of one year ago. Looking ahead, other than the push or pull of the broad market, we do not see anything in the company's numbers that may help reverse the decline experienced over the past 12 months. Despite the past decline, the stock is still selling for more than most others in its industry.
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