NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Universal Stainless & Alloy Products (Nasdaq: USAP) has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth and compelling growth in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Metals & Mining industry. The net income increased by 211.7% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $1.43 million to $4.45 million.
  • UNVL STAINLESS & ALLOY PRODS 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 year. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, UNVL STAINLESS & ALLOY PRODS turned its bottom line around by earning $1.94 versus -$0.44 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.56 versus $1.94).
  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 204.76% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 52.16% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. Turning to the future, naturally, any stock can fall in a major bear market. However, in almost any other environment, the stock should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed nice gains in the past year.
  • USAP's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.07 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. To add to this, USAP has a quick ratio of 1.69, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • USAP's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 35.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 72.5%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.

Universal Stainless & Alloy Products, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, manufactures and markets semi-finished and finished specialty steel products, including stainless steel, tool steel, and certain other alloyed steels primarily in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 18.5, equal to the average metals & mining industry P/E ratio and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 16.9. Universal Stainless & Alloy has a market cap of $245.3 million and is part of the basic materials sector and metals & mining industry. Shares are up 15.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

You can view the full Universal Stainless & Alloy Ratings Report or get investment ideas from our investment research center.
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