NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Cornerstone Therapeutics (Nasdaq: CRTX) has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to buy. 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 expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • In its most recent trading session, CRTX 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 stock's price rise over the last year has driven it to a level which is somewhat expensive compared to the rest of its industry. We feel, however, that other strengths this company displays justify these higher price levels.
  • CORNERSTONE THERAPEUTICS INC has exprienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from the same quarter a year ago. The company has suffered a declining pattern of earnings per share over the past two years. However, we anticipate this trend to reverse over the coming year. During the past fiscal year, CORNERSTONE THERAPEUTICS INC reported lower earnings of $0.23 versus $0.68 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.64 versus $0.23).
  • The gross profit margin for CORNERSTONE THERAPEUTICS INC is rather high; currently it is at 61.70%. Regardless of CRTX's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 2.40% trails the industry average.
  • CRTX's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.01 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 1.37, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • CRTX's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 4.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 5.6%. 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.

Cornerstone Therapeutics Inc., a specialty pharmaceutical company, engages in the acquisition, development, and commercialization of branded and generic pharmaceuticals for the respiratory and related markets primarily in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 29.2, equal to the average drugs industry P/E ratio and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 16.2. Cornerstone has a market cap of $179.9 million and is part of the health care sector and drugs industry. Shares are up 18.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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