NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- St. Joe Corporation (NYSE: JOE) has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from sell to hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its impressive record of earnings per share growth, revenue growth and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including poor profit margins and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself. Highlights from the ratings report include:
- The gross profit margin for ST JOE CO is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 27.00%. Despite the low profit margin, it has increased significantly from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, JOE's net profit margin of -7.30% significantly underperformed when compared to the industry average.
- In its most recent trading session, JOE 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. The fact that the stock is now selling for less than others in its industry in relation to its current earnings is not reason enough to justify a buy rating at this time.
- JOE's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.06 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels.
- JOE's revenue growth trails the industry average of 24.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 8.2%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.