NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Bio-Reference Labs (Nasdaq: BRLI) 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, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • BRLI's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 11.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 19.5%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • BRLI's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.18 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. To add to this, BRLI has a quick ratio of 2.06, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • BIO REFERENCE LABS has improved earnings per share by 19.4% 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 two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, BIO REFERENCE LABS increased its bottom line by earning $1.29 versus $0.96 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.39 versus $1.29).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Health Care Providers & Services industry average. The net income increased by 22.1% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $8.58 million to $10.48 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 96.29% to $19.44 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, BIO REFERENCE LABS has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -16.31%.

Bio-Reference Laboratories, Inc. provides clinical laboratory testing services for the detection, diagnosis, evaluation, monitoring, and treatment of diseases primarily in the greater New York metropolitan area. The company has a P/E ratio of 15.4, above the average health services industry P/E ratio of 14.4 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Bio-Reference has a market cap of $519.6 million and is part of the health care sector and health services industry. Shares are up 22% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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

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