NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- InterMune (Nasdaq: ITMN) has been downgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its feeble growth in its earnings per share, deteriorating net income, generally weak debt management, disappointing return on equity and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself. Highlights from the ratings report include:
- INTERMUNE 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. Earnings per share have declined over the last year. We anticipate that this should continue in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, INTERMUNE INC swung to a loss, reporting -$2.57 versus $1.78 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 6.2% in earnings (-$2.73 versus -$2.57).
- 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 Biotechnology industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 121.6% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $206.08 million to -$44.53 million.
- The debt-to-equity ratio of 1.21 is relatively high when compared with the industry average, suggesting a need for better debt level management.
- Return on equity has greatly decreased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of major weakness within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Biotechnology industry and the overall market, INTERMUNE INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
- Despite any intermediate fluctuations, we have only bad news to report on this stock's performance over the last year: it has tumbled by 57.33%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 120.65% compared to the year-earlier quarter. Naturally, the overall market trend is bound to be a significant factor. However, in one sense, the stock's sharp decline last year is a positive for future investors, making it cheaper (in proportion to its earnings over the past year) than most other stocks in its industry. But due to other concerns, we feel the stock is still not a good buy right now.
-- Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff