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) -- Qihoo 360 Technology (NYSE:QIHU) has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company is trading at a premium valuation based on our review of its current price compared to such things as earnings and book value.
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- QIHU's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 22.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 108.4%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
- QIHU has no debt to speak of therefore resulting in a debt-to-equity ratio of zero, which we consider to be a relatively favorable sign. Along with this, the company maintains a quick ratio of 2.89, which clearly demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
- QIHOO 360 TECHNOLGY CO -ADR 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. During the past fiscal year, QIHOO 360 TECHNOLGY CO -ADR increased its bottom line by earning $0.40 versus $0.12 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.26 versus $0.40).
- 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 371.6% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $7.00 million to $33.00 million.
- Powered by its strong earnings growth of 333.33% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 261.39% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. Looking ahead, the stock's sharp rise over the last year has already helped drive it to a level which is relatively expensive compared to the rest of its industry. We feel, however, that other strengths this company displays justify these higher price levels.
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