Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model

NEW YORK (

TheStreet

)

-- Assured Guaranty

(NYSE:

AGO

) has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, increase in stock price during the past year, attractive valuation levels and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

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Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • AGO's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 0.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 652.9%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • AGO's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.18 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels.
  • 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. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, it goes without saying that even the best stocks can fall in an overall down market. However, in any other environment, this stock still has good upside potential despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year.
  • The gross profit margin for ASSURED GUARANTY LTD is currently very high, coming in at 76.10%. It has increased significantly from the same period last year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 49.90% significantly outperformed against the industry average.

Assured Guaranty Ltd., through its subsidiaries, provides credit protection products to public finance, infrastructure, and structured finance markets primarily in the United States, Europe, and Australia. The company has a P/E ratio of 4.5, below the average insurance industry P/E ratio of 16.7 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Assured Guaranty has a market cap of $2.26 billion and is part of the

financial

sector and

insurance

industry. Shares are up 6.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

You can view the full

Assured Guaranty Ratings Report

or get investment ideas from our

investment research center

.

-- Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model

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