NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- CBIZ (NYSE: CBZ) has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its attractive valuation levels, notable return on equity, growth in earnings per share, increase in stock price during the past year 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 when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Professional Services industry. The net income increased by 12.0% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $15.98 million to $17.91 million.
- CBZ, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 12.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 0.2%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.
- CBIZ INC has improved earnings per share by 33.3% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, CBIZ INC reported lower earnings of $0.45 versus $0.52 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.58 versus $0.45).
- 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. Compared to other companies in the Professional Services industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, CBIZ INC has outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500.