Rating Change #1

YPF Sociedad Anonima ( YPF) 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, attractive valuation levels, good cash flow from operations, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • YPF's revenue growth trails the industry average of 35.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 23.3%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 65.11% to $1,089.11 million when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of 25.37%.
  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.51, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels. Despite the fact that YPF's debt-to-equity ratio is low, the quick ratio, which is currently 0.51, displays a potential problem in covering short-term cash needs.
  • 36.00% is the gross profit margin for YACIMIENTOS PETE FISCALES SA which we consider to be strong. Regardless of YPF's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, YPF's net profit margin of 11.50% compares favorably to the industry average.

YPF SOCIEDAD ANONIMA, an energy company, engages in the exploration, development, and production of crude oil, natural gas, and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) in Argentina. The company has a P/E ratio of 10.9, below the average energy industry P/E ratio of 36.3 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. YPF Sociedad Anonima has a market cap of $15.89 billion and is part of the basic materials sector and energy industry. Shares are up 17% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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

-- Reported by Kevin Baker in Jupiter, Fla.

For additional Investment Research check out our Ratings Research Center.

For all other upgrades and downgrades made by TheStreet Ratings Model today check out our upgrades and downgrades list.
Kevin Baker became the senior financial analyst for TheStreet Ratings upon the August 2006 acquisition of Weiss Ratings by TheStreet.com, covering equity and mutual fund ratings. He joined the Weiss Group in 1997 as a banking and brokerage analyst. In 1999, he created the Weiss Group's first ratings to gauge the level of risk in U.S. equities. Baker received a B.S. degree in management from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and an M.B.A. with a finance specialization from Nova Southeastern University.

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