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Nortel Inversora SA Stock Downgraded (NTL)

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Nortel Inversora (NYSE: NTL) has been downgraded by TheStreet Ratings from buy to hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity and attractive valuation levels. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself and unimpressive growth in net income.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 4.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 14.6%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • 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 Diversified Telecommunication Services industry and the overall market, NORTEL INVERSORA SA's return on equity exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • NTL's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.13 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Although the company had a strong debt-to-equity ratio, its quick ratio of 0.89 is somewhat weak and could be cause for future problems.
  • The change in net income from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500, but is less than that of the Diversified Telecommunication Services industry average. The net income has decreased by 2.3% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, dropping from $85.39 million to $83.40 million.
  • NTL's stock share price has done very poorly compared to where it was a year ago: Despite any rallies, the net result is that it is down by 44.61%, which is also worse that the performance of the S&P 500 Index. Investors have so far failed to pay much attention to the earnings improvements the company has managed to achieve over the last quarter. Turning toward the future, the fact that the stock has come down in price over the past year should not necessarily be interpreted as a negative; it could be one of the factors that may help make the stock attractive down the road. Right now, however, we believe that it is too soon to buy.

Nortel Inversora S.A., through its subsidiary, Telecom Argentina S.A., provides fixed and mobile telecommunication services primarily in Argentina and Paraguay. The company has a P/E ratio of 4.5, below the average telecommunications industry P/E ratio of 10.4 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Nortel Inversora has a market cap of $2.16 billion and is part of the technology sector and telecommunications industry. Shares are down 32.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday.

You can view the full Nortel Inversora Ratings Report or get investment ideas from our investment research center.

-- Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff

TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

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