Editor's Note: 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 NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Home Properties (NYSE:HME) has been downgraded by TheStreet Ratings from buy to hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income and revenue growth. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including poor profit margins and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself.
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- HOME PROPERTIES INC has improved earnings per share by 40.0% 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, HOME PROPERTIES INC increased its bottom line by earning $0.88 versus $0.54 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.32 versus $0.88).
- The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry. The net income increased by 67.5% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $8.20 million to $13.73 million.
- Net operating cash flow has increased to $71.73 million or 45.92% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow, HOME PROPERTIES INC's cash flow growth rate is still lower than the industry average growth rate of 60.27%.
- In its most recent trading session, HME has closed at a price level that was not very different from its closing price of one year earlier. This is probably due to its weak earnings growth as well as other mixed factors. 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.
- The gross profit margin for HOME PROPERTIES INC is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 29.70%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 8.50% significantly trails the industry average.
-- Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff
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