NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Integrys Energy Group Inc (NYSE: TEG) has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is somewhat low, currently at 0.77, and is less than that of the industry average, implying that there has been a relatively successful effort in the management of debt levels.
  • INTEGRYS ENERGY GROUP INC 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. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, INTEGRYS ENERGY GROUP INC turned its bottom line around by earning $2.82 versus -$0.96 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($3.37 versus $2.82).
  • TEG, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 3.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 0.4%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. When compared to other companies in the Multi-Utilities industry and the overall market, INTEGRYS ENERGY GROUP INC's return on equity is below that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for INTEGRYS ENERGY GROUP INC is currently extremely low, coming in at 12.90%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 3.00% significantly trails the industry average.

Integrys Energy Group, Inc., through its subsidiaries, operates as a regulated electric and natural gas utility company in the United States and Canada. It provides natural gas utility services in Chicago, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Minnesota. The company has a P/E ratio of 15.6, equal to the average utilities industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Integrys Energy Group has a market cap of $3.8 billion and is part of the utilities sector and utilities industry. Shares are down 0.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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