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United Fire Group Inc Stock Downgraded (UFCS)

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) -- United Fire Group (Nasdaq: UFCS) 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 attractive valuation levels. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including disappointing return on equity, relatively poor performance when compared with the S&P 500 during the past year and weak operating cash flow.

  • EXCLUSIVE OFFER: Jim Cramer's Protégé, Dave Peltier, only buys Stocks Under $10 that he thinks could potentially double. See what he's trading today with a 14-day FREE pass.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • The revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 25.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 8.0%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • UFCS 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.
  • In its most recent trading session, UFCS has closed at a price level that was not very different from its closing price of one year earlier. This is probably due to its weak earnings growth as well as other mixed factors. We feel that the combination of its price rise over the last year and its current price-to-earnings ratio relative to its industry tend to reduce its upside potential.
  • 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 Insurance industry and the overall market, UNITED FIRE GROUP INC's return on equity is below that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.

United Fire Group, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, engages in writing property, casualty, and life insurance products; and selling fixed annuities in the United States. The company operates in two segments, Property and Casualty Insurance, and Life Insurance. United Fire Group has a market cap of $627.2 million and is part of the financial sector and insurance industry. Shares are down 14.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

You can view the full United Fire Group Ratings Report or get investment ideas from our investment research center.

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