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) -- LifePoint Hospitals (Nasdaq:LPNT) 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, reasonable valuation levels and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and poor profit margins.
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- Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 14.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 11.6%. 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.
- LPNT's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.79 is somewhat low overall, but it is high when compared to the industry average, implying that the management of the debt levels should be evaluated further. Regardless of the somewhat mixed results with the debt-to-equity ratio, the company's quick ratio of 1.42 is sturdy.
- The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Health Care Providers & Services industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 50.5% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $38.80 million to $19.20 million.
- The company's current return on equity has slightly decreased from the same quarter one year prior. This implies a minor weakness in the organization. When compared to other companies in the Health Care Providers & Services industry and the overall market, LIFEPOINT HOSPITALS INC's return on equity is below that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
-- Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff
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