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-- Ultrapetrol Bahamas



) has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from sell to hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, solid stock price performance and increase in net income. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including generally higher debt management risk and poor profit margins.

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Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • ULTR's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 17.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 53.2%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 150.00% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 282.41% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. 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.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 80.18% to $7.31 million when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow of 80.18%, ULTRAPETROL BAHAMAS LTD is still growing at a significantly lower rate than the industry average of 156.44%.
  • The gross profit margin for ULTRAPETROL BAHAMAS LTD is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 29.17%. Regardless of ULTR's low profit margin, it has managed to increase from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 11.07% trails the industry average.
  • Currently the debt-to-equity ratio of 1.53 is quite high overall and when compared to the industry average, suggesting that the current management of debt levels should be re-evaluated. Even though the debt-to-equity ratio is weak, ULTR's quick ratio is somewhat strong at 1.43, demonstrating the ability to handle short-term liquidity needs.

he Company, through its subsidiary Ultrapetrol SA, provides specialized transportation services for an identified group of customers through direct contracts. Ultrapetrol Bahamas has a market cap of $488.7 million and is part of the services sector and transportation industry. Shares are up 110.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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