NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Vical Incorporated (Nasdaq: VICL) 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 solid stock price performance. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the company's return on equity has been disappointing.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • VICL's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 4.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 1079.4%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • VICL 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.
  • The gross profit margin for VICAL INC is rather high; currently it is at 61.60%. It has increased significantly from the same period last year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 61.70% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • 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 Biotechnology industry and the overall market, VICAL INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.

Vical Incorporated engages in the research and development of biopharmaceutical products based on its deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) delivery technologies for the prevention and treatment of serious or life-threatening diseases. Vical has a market cap of $217.6 million and is part of the health care sector and drugs industry. Shares are up 49.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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