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) -- LHC Group (Nasdaq:LHCG) 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, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and reasonable valuation levels. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and weak operating cash flow.
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- Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 10.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 3.7%. 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.
- LHCG's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.09 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. To add to this, LHCG has a quick ratio of 1.72, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
- Compared to where it was a year ago today, the stock is now trading at a higher level, regardless of the company's weak earnings results. Despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year, there is currently no conclusive evidence that warrants the purchase or sale of this stock.
- 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, LHC GROUP INC's return on equity is below that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
- Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$1.69 million or 120.27% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.
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