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

"We rate LEE ENTERPRISES INC (LEE) 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 impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself and weak operating cash flow."

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

  • LEE ENTERPRISES INC reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. During the past fiscal year, LEE ENTERPRISES INC turned its bottom line around by earning $0.12 versus -$1.49 in the prior year.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Media industry. The net income increased by 103.6% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$88.70 million to $3.16 million.
  • The gross profit margin for LEE ENTERPRISES INC is rather high; currently it is at 56.58%. 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 1.95% significantly trails the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to $12.49 million or 63.27% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.
  • In its most recent trading session, LEE has closed at a price level that was not very different from its closing price of one year earlier. This is probably due to its weak earnings growth as well as other mixed factors. 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.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: LEE Ratings Report

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