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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Lee Enterprises (LEE) - Get Report has been downgraded by TheStreet Ratings from Hold to Sell with a ratings score of D+.  TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate LEE ENTERPRISES INC (LEE) a SELL. This is driven by a few notable weaknesses, which we believe should have a greater impact than any strengths, and could make it more difficult for investors to achieve positive results compared to most of the stocks we cover. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself and unimpressive growth in net income."

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

  • 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 Media industry. The net income has decreased by 18.0% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, dropping from $11.89 million to $9.75 million.
  • Looking at the price performance of LEE's shares over the past 12 months, there is not much good news to report: the stock is down 29.81%, and it has underformed the S&P 500 Index. In addition, the company's earnings per share are lower today than the year-earlier quarter. Despite the heavy decline in its share price, this stock is still more expensive (when compared to its current earnings) than most other companies in its industry.
  • LEE ENTERPRISES INC's earnings per share declined by 18.2% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has not demonstrated a clear trend in earnings over the past 2 years, making it difficult to accurately predict earnings for the coming year. During the past fiscal year, LEE ENTERPRISES INC turned its bottom line around by earning $0.12 versus -$1.49 in the prior year.
  • LEE, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 7.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 0.7%. The declining revenue appears to have seeped down to the company's bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • The gross profit margin for LEE ENTERPRISES INC is rather high; currently it is at 59.82%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Despite the strong results of the gross profit margin, LEE's net profit margin of 5.53% significantly trails the industry average.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: LEE Ratings Report