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NEW YORK (

TheStreet

)

-- SunCoke Energy

(NYSE:

SXC

) has been downgraded by TheStreet Ratings from buy to hold. Among the primary strengths of the company is its solid stock price performance. At the same time, however, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, poor profit margins and weak operating cash flow.

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Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • SXC, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 7.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 20.8%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • Compared to its closing price of one year ago, SXC's share price has jumped by 40.03%, exceeding the performance of the broader market during that same time frame. Looking ahead, however, we cannot assume that the stock's past performance is going to drive future results. Quite to the contrary, its sharp appreciation over the last year is one of the factors that should prompt investors to seek better opportunities elsewhere.
  • SUNCOKE ENERGY INC has experienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from the same quarter a year ago. The company has reported a trend of declining earnings per share over the past two years. However, the consensus estimate suggests that this trend should reverse in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, SUNCOKE ENERGY INC reported lower earnings of $0.36 versus $1.40 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.40 versus $0.36).
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$11.30 million or 188.28% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.
  • 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 Metals & Mining industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 471.4% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $2.10 million to -$7.80 million.

SunCoke Energy, Inc. operates as an independent producer of coke in the Americas. The company offers metallurgical and thermal coal for use as a raw material in the blast furnace steelmaking process. It also provides coal handling and blending services. The company has a P/E ratio of 60.9, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. SunCoke Energy has a market cap of $1.51 billion and is part of the basic materials sector and metals & mining industry. Shares are down 9% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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