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.

All three major indices traded up today with the

Dow Jones Industrial Average

(

^DJI

) trading up 47 points (0.3%) at 18,019 as of Friday, Feb. 13, 2015, 4:20 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,931 issues advancing vs. 1,153 declining with 128 unchanged.

The Consumer Durables industry as a whole closed the day up 0.7% versus the S&P 500, which was up 0.4%. Top gainers within the Consumer Durables industry included

Natuzzi SPA

(

NTZ

), up 7.6%,

Emerson Radio

(

MSN

), up 2.0%,

Virco Manufacturing

(

VIRC

), up 3.4%,

Ballantyne Strong

(

BTN

), up 2.9% and

Stanley Furniture

(

STLY

), up 4.6%.

TheStreet Ratings Group would like to highlight 3 stocks pushing the industry higher today:

Ballantyne Strong

(

BTN

) is one of the companies that pushed the Consumer Durables industry higher today. Ballantyne Strong was up $0.12 (2.9%) to $4.30 on light volume. Throughout the day, 10,802 shares of Ballantyne Strong exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 23,400 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $4.20-$4.30 after having opened the day at $4.22 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $4.18.

Ballantyne Strong, Inc. designs, integrates, and installs technology solutions for retail, financial, government, and cinema markets worldwide. The company operates in two segments, Systems Integration and Managed Services. Ballantyne Strong has a market cap of $60.3 million and is part of the consumer goods sector. Shares are up 1.0% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are no analysts who rate Ballantyne Strong a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

TheStreet Ratings rates Ballantyne Strong as a

hold

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including feeble growth in the company's earnings per share, deteriorating net income and disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on BTN go as follows:

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 7.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 20.2%. 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.
  • BTN's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.00 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. To add to this, BTN has a quick ratio of 2.34, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Media industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 336.9% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $0.05 million to -$0.11 million.
  • Current return on equity is lower than its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of weakness within the company. Compared to other companies in the Media industry and the overall market, BALLANTYNE STRONG INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.

You can view the full analysis from the report here:

Ballantyne Strong Ratings Report

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

At the close,

Virco Manufacturing

(

VIRC

) was up $0.08 (3.4%) to $2.45 on light volume. Throughout the day, 460 shares of Virco Manufacturing exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 29,100 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $2.38-$2.46 after having opened the day at $2.38 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $2.37.

Virco Mfg. Corporation is engaged in the design, production, and distribution of furniture for the commercial and education markets in the United States. Virco Manufacturing has a market cap of $35.9 million and is part of the consumer goods sector. Shares are down 2.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are no analysts who rate Virco Manufacturing a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

TheStreet Ratings rates Virco Manufacturing as a

sell

. The area that we feel has been the company's primary weakness has been its disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on VIRC go as follows:

  • Current return on equity exceeded its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of strength within the company. Compared to other companies in the Commercial Services & Supplies industry and the overall market, VIRCO MFG. CORP's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • 35.41% is the gross profit margin for VIRCO MFG. CORP which we consider to be strong. Regardless of VIRC's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 7.39% trails the industry average.
  • VIRC's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.23 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Although the company had a strong debt-to-equity ratio, its quick ratio of 0.71 is somewhat weak and could be cause for future problems.
  • Compared to where it was 12 months ago, the stock is up, but it has so far lagged the appreciation in the S&P 500. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, we do not believe this stock offers ample reward opportunity to compensate for the risks, despite the fact that it rose over the past year.
  • VIRCO MFG. CORP has improved earnings per share by 34.8% 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 two years. We feel that this trend should continue. This trend suggests that the performance of the business is improving. During the past fiscal year, VIRCO MFG. CORP continued to lose money by earning -$0.13 versus -$0.27 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings (-$0.02 versus -$0.13).

You can view the full analysis from the report here:

Virco Manufacturing Ratings Report

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

Natuzzi SPA

(

NTZ

) was another company that pushed the Consumer Durables industry higher today. Natuzzi SPA was up $0.12 (7.6%) to $1.70 on average volume. Throughout the day, 3,515 shares of Natuzzi SPA exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4,600 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $1.56-$1.70 after having opened the day at $1.56 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $1.58.

Natuzzi S.p.A. designs, manufactures, and markets leather and fabric upholstered furniture worldwide. Natuzzi SPA has a market cap of $86.1 million and is part of the consumer goods sector. Shares are up 1.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are no analysts who rate Natuzzi SPA a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Natuzzi SPA as a

sell

. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its disappointing return on equity, poor profit margins, weak operating cash flow and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on NTZ go as follows:

  • Return on equity has greatly decreased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of major weakness within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Household Durables industry and the overall market, NATUZZI SPA's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for NATUZZI SPA is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 30.78%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of -7.81% trails that of the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$28.70 million or 586.21% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.
  • NTZ'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 30.22%, 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.
  • NATUZZI SPA reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has not demonstrated a clear trend in earnings over the past 2 years, making it difficult to accurately predict earnings for the coming year. During the past fiscal year, NATUZZI SPA reported poor results of -$1.71 versus -$0.63 in the prior year.

You can view the full analysis from the report here:

Natuzzi SPA Ratings Report

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

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.