NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- QKL Stores (Nasdaq: QKLS) has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from sell to hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, attractive valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including unimpressive growth in net income, a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself and poor profit margins.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • 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 Food & Staples Retailing industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 78.2% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $11.88 million to $2.59 million.
  • Despite any intermediate fluctuations, we have only bad news to report on this stock's performance over the last year: it has tumbled by 53.20%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 75.86% compared to the year-earlier quarter. Naturally, the overall market trend is bound to be a significant factor. However, in one sense, the stock's sharp decline last year is a positive for future investors, making it cheaper (in proportion to its earnings over the past year) than most other stocks in its industry. But due to other concerns, we feel the stock is still not a good buy right now.
  • QKLS 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. Although the company had a strong debt-to-equity ratio, its quick ratio of 0.83 is somewhat weak and could be cause for future problems.
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 0.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 24.1%. 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.

QKL Stores Inc., through its subsidiaries, operates retail chain stores in the Peoples Republic of China. It operates a regional supermarket chain that includes supermarkets, hypermarkets, and department stores in northeastern China and Inner Mongolia. The company has a P/E ratio of 11.2, below the average retail industry P/E ratio of 11.7 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. QKL Stores has a market cap of $73 million and is part of the services sector and retail industry. Shares are down 34.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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