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) -- Compass Minerals International (NYSE:CMP) has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in net income, revenue growth, increase in stock price during the past year, growth in earnings per share and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.
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- The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Metals & Mining industry. The net income increased by 63.8% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $9.40 million to $15.40 million.
- Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 2.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 2.0%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
- Compared to where it was a year ago today, the stock is now trading at a higher level, reflecting both the market's overall trend during that period and the fact that the company's earnings growth has been robust. The stock's price rise over the last year has driven it to a level which is somewhat expensive compared to the rest of its industry. We feel, however, that other strengths this company displays justify these higher price levels.
- COMPASS MINERALS INTL INC reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, COMPASS MINERALS INTL INC reported lower earnings of $2.65 versus $4.45 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($4.05 versus $2.65).
- CMP's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.91 is somewhat low overall, but it is high when compared to the industry average, implying that the management of the debt levels should be evaluated further. Regardless of the somewhat mixed results with the debt-to-equity ratio, the company's quick ratio of 1.16 is sturdy.
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