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Liberty Global Inc. Stock Hold Recommendation Reiterated (LBTYA)

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) -- Liberty Global (Nasdaq:LBTYA) has been reiterated by TheStreet Ratings as a hold with a ratings score of C. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance and impressive record of earnings per share growth. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the company has favored debt over equity in the management of its balance sheet.

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Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • LBTYA's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 8.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 13.5%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • Investors have apparently begun to recognize positive factors similar to those we have mentioned in this report, including earnings growth. This has helped drive up the company's shares by a sharp 57.06% over the past year, a rise that has exceeded that of the S&P 500 Index. Regarding the stock's future course, our hold rating indicates that we do not recommend additional investment in this stock despite its gains in the past year.
  • The gross profit margin for LIBERTY GLOBAL INC is rather high; currently it is at 64.30%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Regardless of the strong results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of -12.13% is in-line with the industry average.
  • The company, on the basis of net income growth from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed compared to the Media industry average, but is greater than that of the S&P 500. The net income increased by 23.8% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from -$435.00 million to -$331.30 million.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is very high at 12.45 and currently higher than the industry average, implying increased risk associated with the management of debt levels within the company. To add to this, LBTYA has a quick ratio of 0.67, this demonstrates the lack of ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.

Liberty Global, Inc. provides video, broadband Internet, and telephony services to residential and business customers primarily in Europe and Chile. The company operates in three segments: UPC/Unity Division, Telenet, and VTR Group. Liberty Global has a market cap of $10.7 billion and is part of the services sector and media industry. Shares are up 20% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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

--Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff.

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