NEW YORK (

TheStreet

)

-- Lam Research Corporation

(Nasdaq:

LRCX

) has been downgraded by TheStreet Ratings from buy to hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, deteriorating net income and disappointing return on equity.

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Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • LRCX's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.19 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 2.54, which clearly demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • 46.20% is the gross profit margin for LAM RESEARCH CORP which we consider to be strong. Regardless of LRCX's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, LRCX's net profit margin of 2.40% is significantly lower than the same period one year prior.
  • 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 Semiconductors & Semiconductor Equipment industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 85.7% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $125.93 million to $18.07 million.
  • The share price of LAM RESEARCH CORP has not done very well: it is down 22.22% and has underperformed the S&P 500, in part reflecting the company's sharply declining earnings per share when compared to the year-earlier quarter. Looking ahead, other than the push or pull of the broad market, we do not see anything in the company's numbers that may help reverse the decline experienced over the past 12 months. Despite the past decline, the stock is still selling for more than most others in its industry.

Lam Research Corporation designs, manufactures, markets, refurbishes, and services semiconductor processing equipments used in the fabrication of integrated circuits. The company offers etch products that remove portions of various films from the wafer in the creation of semiconductor devices. The company has a P/E ratio of 15.2, below the average electronics industry P/E ratio of 15.3 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Lam Research has a market cap of $4.11 billion and is part of the

technology

sector and

electronics

industry. Shares are down 7.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

You can view the full

Lam Research Ratings Report

or get investment ideas from our

investment research center

.

-- Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff

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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