NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Inteliquent (IQNT)  soared after receiving a confidence boost from Raymond James and as the company introduces a new face to its executive team. By early afternoon, shares had jumped 21.1% to $12.79, reaching their highest point since October last year.

Earlier, Raymond James upgraded the voice and data IT firm to "outperform" from "market perform" with a price target of $12.

Also, the Chicago-based business announced it had appointed Kurt Abkemeier as Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President, replacing interim financial officer Eric Carlson. Abkemeier previously held the roles of Vice President of Finance and Treasurer of Cbeyond and Director of Finance at AirGate PCS.

"Today's competitive market requires a CFO with a superior understanding of the telecommunications industry, as well as the seasoned financial and strategic planning experience that makes Kurt particularly well suited to join our team," said CEO Ed Evans in a statement.

TheStreet Ratings team rates INTELIQUENT INC as a Hold with a ratings score of C-. The team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate INTELIQUENT INC (IQNT) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed -- some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, increase in net income and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the company's return on equity has been disappointing."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • Investors have apparently begun to recognize positive factors similar to those we have mentioned in this report, including earnings growth. This has helped drive up the company's shares by a sharp 238.29% over the past year, a rise that has exceeded that of the S&P 500 Index. Regarding the stock's future course, our hold rating indicates that we do not recommend additional investment in this stock despite its gains in the past year.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Diversified Telecommunication Services industry. The net income increased by 336.6% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$2.74 million to $6.47 million.
  • INTELIQUENT INC has improved earnings per share by 11.1% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, INTELIQUENT INC swung to a loss, reporting -$1.86 versus $0.81 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.66 versus -$1.86).
  • IQNT, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 3.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 15.4%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.
  • 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 Diversified Telecommunication Services industry and the overall market, INTELIQUENT INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.