NEW YORK (

TheStreet

)

-- Alexza Pharmaceuticals

(Nasdaq:

ALXA

) has been downgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its unimpressive growth in net income, weak operating cash flow, generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself and feeble growth in its earnings per share.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • 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 Pharmaceuticals industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 2170.2% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from -$0.59 million to -$13.42 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$8.64 million or 98.91% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.
  • Despite any intermediate fluctuations, we have only bad news to report on this stock's performance over the last year: it has tumbled by 58.54%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 1800.00% compared to the year-earlier 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.
  • ALEXZA PHARMACTCLS INC has exprienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. We feel it is likely to report a decline in earnings in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, ALEXZA PHARMACTCLS INC continued to lose money by earning -$0.09 versus -$2.68 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 544.4% in earnings (-$0.58 versus -$0.09).
  • Regardless of the somewhat mixed results with the debt-to-equity ratio, the company's quick ratio of 0.80 is weak.

.

Alexza Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a development stage company, focuses on the research, development, and commercialization of novel proprietary products for the acute treatment of central nervous system conditions. The company has a P/E ratio of 6.8, below the average drugs industry P/E ratio of 72 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Alexza has a market cap of $51.9 million and is part of the

health care

sector and

drugs

industry. Shares are down 36.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

You can view the full

Alexza Ratings Report

or get investment ideas from our

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-- Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff

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