NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Crawford & Company (NYSE: CRD.B) 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, notable return on equity, attractive valuation levels, good cash flow from operations and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally poor debt management on most measures that we evaluated.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • CRD.B's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 20.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 22.7%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 600.00% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 92.00% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, CRD.B should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
  • CRAWFORD & CO 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. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, CRAWFORD & CO turned its bottom line around by earning $0.53 versus -$2.23 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.72 versus $0.53).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Insurance industry. The net income increased by 633.0% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$2.53 million to $13.47 million.
  • The company's current return on equity greatly increased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of significant strength within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Insurance industry and the overall market, CRAWFORD & CO's return on equity significantly exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.

Crawford & Company provides claims management solutions to insurance companies and self-insured entities worldwide. The company operates through four segments: U.S. Property and Casualty, International Operations, Broadspire, and Legal Settlement Administration. The U.S. The company has a P/E ratio of five, equal to the average insurance industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Crawford has a market cap of $125 million and is part of the financial sector and insurance industry. Shares are up 69.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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