NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- UTi Worldwide (Nasdaq: UTIW) 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, compelling growth in net income and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow. Highlights from the ratings report include:
- Powered by its strong earnings growth of 600.00% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 53.81% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. We feel that the stock's sharp appreciation over the last year has driven it to a price level which is now somewhat expensive compared to the rest of its industry. The other strengths this company shows, however, justify the higher price levels.
- The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Air Freight & Logistics industry. The net income increased by 839.7% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $1.55 million to $14.54 million.
- UTI WORLDWIDE INC 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 two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, UTI WORLDWIDE INC increased its bottom line by earning $0.69 versus $0.42 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.90 versus $0.69).
- The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.35, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels. Along with the favorable debt-to-equity ratio, the company maintains an adequate quick ratio of 1.13, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
- UTIW's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 6.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 15.5%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.