NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Citizens (NYSE: CIA) has been downgraded by TheStreet Ratings from buy to hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and reasonable valuation levels. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including unimpressive growth in net income, poor profit margins and feeble growth in the company's earnings per share.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The gross profit margin for CITIZENS INC is currently extremely low, coming in at 8.70%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 3.70% trails that of the industry average.
  • 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 Insurance industry. The net income has decreased by 18.1% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, dropping from $2.04 million to $1.67 million.
  • CIA has no debt to speak of therefore resulting in a debt-to-equity ratio of zero, which we consider to be a relatively favorable sign.
  • CIA's revenue growth trails the industry average of 19.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 1.4%. 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.

Citizens, Inc. and its subsidiaries provide life and health insurance products and services in the United States and internationally. The company has a P/E ratio of 20.6, above the average insurance industry P/E ratio of 20.5 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 21.5. Citizens has a market cap of $341.8 million and is part of the financial sector and insurance industry. Shares are down 3.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

You can view the full Citizens Ratings Report or get investment ideas from our investment research center.
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