NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Omega Protein Corporation (NYSE: OME) has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, revenue growth and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • OME's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.22 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Along with the favorable debt-to-equity ratio, the company maintains an adequate quick ratio of 1.13, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • OME's revenue growth trails the industry average of 13.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 0.3%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Food Products industry. The net income increased by 481.1% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$2.19 million to $8.33 million.
  • OMEGA PROTEIN CORP reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, OMEGA PROTEIN CORP turned its bottom line around by earning $0.97 versus -$0.34 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.25 versus $0.97).
  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 466.66% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 176.88% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, OME should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.

Omega Protein Corporation processes, markets, and distributes fish meal and fish oil products in the United States. It produces and sells various protein and oil products derived from menhaden, a species of wild herring-like fish found along the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic coasts. The company has a P/E ratio of 13, equal to the average food & beverage industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.5. Omega Protein has a market cap of $237.2 million and is part of the consumer goods sector and food & beverage industry. Shares are up 53.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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