NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- John Bean Technologies Corporation (NYSE: JBT) has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its growth in earnings per share, revenue growth, increase in stock price during the past year, notable return on equity and increase in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally poor debt management on most measures that we evaluated. Highlights from the ratings report include:
- The company, on the basis of net income growth from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed compared to the Machinery industry average, but is greater than that of the S&P 500. The net income increased by 47.7% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $10.70 million to $15.80 million.
- Return on equity has greatly decreased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of major weakness within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Machinery industry and the overall market, JOHN BEAN TECHNOLOGIES's return on equity significantly exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
- Compared to where it was 12 months ago, the stock is up, but it has so far lagged the appreciation in the S&P 500. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, it goes without saying that even the best stocks can fall in an overall down market. However, in any other environment, this stock still has good upside potential despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year.
- JBT's revenue growth trails the industry average of 45.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 16.5%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
- JOHN BEAN TECHNOLOGIES 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, JOHN BEAN TECHNOLOGIES increased its bottom line by earning $1.30 versus $1.15 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.42 versus $1.30).