Rating Change #6
Equinix Inc (EQIX) 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 robust revenue growth. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including generally higher debt management risk and weak operating cash flow.
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Highlights from the ratings report include:
- EQUINIX INC 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 year. We feel that this trend should continue. This trend suggests that the performance of the business is improving. During the past fiscal year, EQUINIX INC increased its bottom line by earning $1.72 versus $0.83 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.65 versus $1.72).
- The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Internet Software & Services industry. The net income increased by 41.9% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $20.32 million to $28.84 million.
- Powered by its strong earnings growth of 185.00% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 97.37% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. Setting our sights on the months ahead, however, we feel that the stock's sharp appreciation over the last year has driven it to a price level which is now relatively expensive compared to the rest of its industry. The implication is that its reduced upside potential is not good enough to warrant further investment at this time.
- Net operating cash flow has decreased to $102.15 million or 27.99% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing the cash generation rate to the industry average, the firm's growth is significantly lower.
- The debt-to-equity ratio of 1.32 is relatively high when compared with the industry average, suggesting a need for better debt level management. Along with the unfavorable debt-to-equity ratio, EQIX maintains a poor quick ratio of 0.96, which illustrates the inability to avoid short-term cash problems.
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