The Hain Celestial Group ( HAIN) has been upgraded from hold to buy. The Hain Celestial Group, together with its subsidiaries, manufactures, markets, distributes, and sells natural and organic food and personal care products. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

HAIN's revenue growth trails the industry average of 35.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenue rose by 25.2%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.

The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.42, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels. Along with the favorable debt-to-equity ratio, the company maintains an adequate quick ratio of 1.21, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.

HAIN's earnings per share declined by 44.8% in the most-recent quarter compared with the same quarter a year ago. The company has suffered a declining pattern of earnings per share over the past year. However, we anticipate this trend reversing over the coming year. During the past fiscal year, HAIN reported lower earnings of 99 cents vs. $1.16 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.58 vs. 99 cents).

The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared with that of the S&P 500 and the food products industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 46.4% when compared with the same quarter one year ago, falling from $12.14 million to $6.50 million.

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