NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Acura Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: ACUR) 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, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and notable return on equity. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the stock has experienced relatively poor performance when compared with the S&P 500 during the past year.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Compared to where it was 12 months ago, the stock is up, but it has so far lagged the appreciation in the S&P 500. We feel that the combination of its price rise over the last year and its current price-to-earnings ratio relative to its industry tend to reduce its upside potential.
  • ACURA PHARMACEUTICALS 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 year. During the past fiscal year, ACURA PHARMACEUTICALS INC continued to lose money by earning -$0.27 versus -$0.35 in the prior year.
  • ACUR 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. Along with this, the company maintains a quick ratio of 32.06, which clearly demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • ACUR's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 10.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 3163.4%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.

Acura Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a specialty pharmaceutical company, engages in the research, development, and manufacture of pharmaceutical product candidates utilizing its proprietary Aversion and Impede technologies. The company has a P/E ratio of 20.3, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Acura has a market cap of $137.8 million and is part of the health care sector and drugs industry. Shares are down 9.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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