NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Nexstar Broadcasting Group (Nasdaq: NXST) has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from sell to hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, revenue growth and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including unimpressive growth in net income and feeble growth in the company's earnings per share. 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 Media industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 71.8% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from -$3.67 million to -$6.31 million.
- NEXSTAR BROADCASTING GROUP has exprienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. We feel it is likely to report a decline in earnings in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, NEXSTAR BROADCASTING GROUP continued to lose money by earning -$0.08 versus -$0.45 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 187.5% in earnings (-$0.23 versus -$0.08).
- The gross profit margin for NEXSTAR BROADCASTING GROUP is rather high; currently it is at 64.70%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Regardless of the strong results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of -9.00% is in-line with the industry average.
- Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 11.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 1.9%. 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.
- Compared to its closing price of one year ago, NXST's share price has jumped by 40.23%, exceeding the performance of the broader market during that same time frame. Regarding the stock's future course, our hold rating indicates that we do not recommend additional investment in this stock despite its gains in the past year.