NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- SEI Investments Company (Nasdaq: SEIC) has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • SEIC, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 5.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 11.0%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.
  • The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. In comparison to the other companies in the Capital Markets industry and the overall market, SEI INVESTMENTS CO's return on equity significantly exceeds that of the industry average and is above that of the S&P 500.
  • SEIC's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.09 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Along with this, the company maintains a quick ratio of 5.22, which clearly demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500 and greatly outperformed compared to the Capital Markets industry average. The net income increased by 36.1% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $45.84 million to $62.40 million.
  • SEI INVESTMENTS CO has improved earnings per share by 37.5% 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, SEI INVESTMENTS CO increased its bottom line by earning $1.22 versus $0.91 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.31 versus $1.22).

SEI Investments Company provides investment processing, fund processing, and investment management business outsourcing solutions to corporations, financial institutions, financial advisors, and high-net-worth families. The company has a P/E ratio of 19.1, equal to the average financial services industry P/E ratio and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 16.5. SEI Investments has a market cap of $4.3 billion and is part of the financial sector and financial services industry. Shares are down 5.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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