NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Fisher Communications (Nasdaq:FSCI) has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, expanding profit margins, solid stock price performance and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. Highlights from the ratings report include:
- The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.39, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels. To add to this, FSCI has a quick ratio of 2.12, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
- 49.20% is the gross profit margin for FISHER COMMUNICATIONS INC which we consider to be strong. Regardless of FSCI's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 3.60% trails the industry average.
- FSCI, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 20.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 5.1%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
- Current return on equity exceeded its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of strength within the company. In comparison to the other companies in the Media industry and the overall market, FISHER COMMUNICATIONS INC's return on equity is significantly below that of the industry average and is below that of the S&P 500.
- 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, despite the company's weak earnings results. Looking ahead, the stock's rise over the last year has already helped drive it to a level which is relatively expensive compared to the rest of its industry. We feel, however, that the other strengths this company displays justify these higher price levels.
-- Written by a member of TheStreet RatingsStaff
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