Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link. NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Suburban Propane Partners (NYSE:SPH) has been downgraded by TheStreet Ratings from buy to hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, good cash flow from operations and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including unimpressive growth in net income, disappointing return on equity and poor profit margins.
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- SPH's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 21.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 61.9%. 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.
- Net operating cash flow has increased to $66.51 million or 18.33% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, SUBURBAN PROPANE PRTNRS -LP has also modestly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 10.29%.
- Even though the current debt-to-equity ratio is 1.14, it is still below the industry average, suggesting that this level of debt is acceptable within the Gas Utilities industry. Despite the fact that SPH's debt-to-equity ratio is mixed in its results, the company's quick ratio of 2.15 is high and demonstrates strong liquidity.
- Current return on equity is lower than its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of weakness within the company. When compared to other companies in the Gas Utilities industry and the overall market, SUBURBAN PROPANE PRTNRS -LP's return on equity is below that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
- The gross profit margin for SUBURBAN PROPANE PRTNRS -LP is currently extremely low, coming in at 8.36%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of -15.53% is significantly below that of the industry average.
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