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Biota Pharmaceuticals Inc Stock Downgraded (BOTA)

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) -- Biota Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:BOTA) has been downgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its poor profit margins and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

  • 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 gross profit margin for BIOTA PHARMACEUTICALS INC is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 34.92%. It has decreased significantly from the same period last year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 10.84% significantly trails the industry average.
  • BOTA's stock share price has done very poorly compared to where it was a year ago: Despite any rallies, the net result is that it is down by 25.14%, which is also worse that the performance of the S&P 500 Index. Investors have so far failed to pay much attention to the earnings improvements the company has managed to achieve over the last quarter. Naturally, the overall market trend is bound to be a significant factor. However, in one sense, the stock's sharp decline last year is a positive for future investors, making it cheaper (in proportion to its earnings over the past year) than most other stocks in its industry. But due to other concerns, we feel the stock is still not a good buy right now.
  • BIOTA PHARMACEUTICALS INC reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 340.0% in earnings (-$0.22 versus -$0.05).
  • Compared to other companies in the Biotechnology industry and the overall market, BIOTA PHARMACEUTICALS INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • BOTA 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 4.80, which clearly demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.

Biota Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, focuses on the discovery and development of anti-infective products in Australia. The company is developing oral, small molecule compounds to treat various viral and bacterial infections. Biota has a market cap of $98.3 million and is part of the health care sector and drugs industry. Shares are down 33.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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

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