NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- PHC (AMEX: PHC) has been downgraded by TheStreet Ratings from buy 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 solid stock price performance. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and feeble growth in the company's earnings per share.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 6.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 20.1%. 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.
  • PHC's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.13 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. To add to this, PHC has a quick ratio of 1.56, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • Compared to its closing price of one year ago, PHC's share price has jumped by 84.61%, exceeding the performance of the broader market during that same time frame. Setting our sights on the months ahead, however, we feel that the stock's sharp appreciation over the last year has driven it to a price level which is now relatively expensive compared to the rest of its industry. The implication is that its reduced upside potential is not good enough to warrant further investment at this time.
  • 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 Health Care Providers & Services industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 251.7% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $0.44 million to -$0.67 million.
  • The company's current return on equity has slightly decreased from the same quarter one year prior. This implies a minor weakness in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Health Care Providers & Services industry and the overall market, PHC INC/MA's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.

PHC, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides behavioral health services through inpatient and outpatient facilities in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 29.6, equal to the average health services industry P/E ratio and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. PHC has a market cap of $46.2 million and is part of the health care sector and health services industry. Shares are up 44.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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