NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Education Realty (NYSE:EDR) 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, revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures 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:
- Compared to its closing price of one year ago, EDR's share price has jumped by 30.66%, exceeding the performance of the broader market during that same time frame. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, EDR should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
- Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 15.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 11.9%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
- The debt-to-equity ratio is somewhat low, currently at 0.64, and is less than that of the industry average, implying that there has been a relatively successful effort in the management of debt levels.
- EDUCATION REALTY TRUST INC has exprienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from the same quarter a year ago. The company has suffered a declining pattern of earnings per share over the past two years. However, we anticipate this trend to reverse over the coming year. During the past fiscal year, EDUCATION REALTY TRUST INC reported poor results of -$0.17 versus -$0.15 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings (-$0.01 versus -$0.17).
- The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry and the overall market, EDUCATION REALTY TRUST INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
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