NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Safety Insurance Group (Nasdaq: SAFT) has been downgraded by TheStreet Ratings from buy to hold. 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 reasonable valuation levels. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and feeble growth in the company's earnings per share.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The company's current return on equity has slightly decreased from the same quarter one year prior. This implies a minor weakness in the organization. When compared to other companies in the Insurance industry and the overall market, SAFETY INSURANCE GROUP INC's return on equity is below that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Insurance industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 130.9% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $12.77 million to -$3.95 million.
  • Compared to where it was a year ago today, the stock is now trading at a higher level, regardless of the company's weak earnings results. Despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year, there is currently no conclusive evidence that warrants the purchase or sale of this stock.
  • SAFT has no debt to speak of therefore resulting in a debt-to-equity ratio of zero, which we consider to be a relatively favorable sign.
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 8.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 7.0%. 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.

Safety Insurance Group, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides private passenger automobile insurance in Massachusetts. It also offers property and casualty insurance products, including commercial automobile, homeowners, dwelling fire, umbrella, and business owner policies. The company has a P/E ratio of 17.5, equal to the average insurance industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Safety Insurance Group has a market cap of $699.6 million and is part of the financial sector and insurance industry. Shares are down 5.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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