NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Winthrop Realty (NYSE: FUR) 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, impressive record of earnings per share growth, attractive valuation levels and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • 41.50% is the gross profit margin for WINTHROP REALTY TRUST which we consider to be strong. Regardless of FUR's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, FUR's net profit margin of 36.80% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • WINTHROP REALTY TRUST has improved earnings per share by 36.8% 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. During the past fiscal year, WINTHROP REALTY TRUST turned its bottom line around by earning $0.82 versus -$5.40 in the prior year.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is somewhat low, currently at 0.94, and is less than that of the industry average, implying that there has been a relatively successful effort in the management of debt levels.
  • FUR's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 5.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 60.4%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.

Operates as a real estate investment trust, headquartered in Boston. As of Dec. Thirty-one, 2005, in addition to cash reserves and government securities, the trust primarily owned an office building, commonly referred to as Circle Tower, located in Indianapolis, IN and 16 triple-net lease properties. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.7, below the average real estate industry P/E ratio of 16.6 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 16.9. Winthrop has a market cap of $323.4 million and is part of the financial sector and real estate industry. Shares are down 4.7% year to date as of the previous trading day's close.

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