NEW YORK (

TheStreet

)

-- Horsehead Holding Corporation

(Nasdaq:

ZINC

) 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, compelling growth in net income, good cash flow from operations and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 8118.86% to $21.78 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, HORSEHEAD HOLDING CORP has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 120.36%.
  • 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 6674.5% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $0.22 million to $14.63 million.
  • HORSEHEAD HOLDING CORP has shown improvement in its earnings for its most recently reported quarter when compared with the same quarter a year earlier. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past year. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, HORSEHEAD HOLDING CORP turned its bottom line around by earning $0.57 versus -$0.78 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.12 versus $0.57).
  • ZINC'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. Along with this, the company maintains a quick ratio of 2.66, which clearly demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • ZINC's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 36.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 40.0%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.

Horsehead Holding Corp., together with its subsidiaries, engages in the production and sale of zinc and zinc-based products in North America. The company has a P/E ratio of 27.7, equal to the average metals & mining industry P/E ratio and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17. Horsehead Holding has a market cap of $690.5 million and is part of the

TheStreet Recommends

basic materials

sector and

metals & mining

industry. Shares are up 22.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

You can view the full

Horsehead Holding Ratings Report

or get investment ideas from our

investment research center

.

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