NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Howard Hughes (NYSE: HHC) 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 growth in earnings per share. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the company's profit margins have been poor overall. Highlights from the ratings report include:
- HHC's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 1.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 167.7%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
- The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.31, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels.
- After a year of stock price fluctuations, the net result is that HHC's price has not changed very much. Although its weak earnings growth may have played a role in this flat result, don't lose sight of the fact that the performance of the overall market, as measured by the S&P 500 Index, was essentially similar. Looking ahead, our view is that this company's fundamentals will not have much impact in either direction, allowing the stock to generally move up or down based on the push and pull of the broad market.
- When compared to other companies in the Real Estate Management & Development industry and the overall market, HOWARD HUGHES CORP's return on equity is below that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
- The gross profit margin for HOWARD HUGHES CORP is rather low; currently it is at 22.70%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Despite the weak results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 189.10% has significantly outperformed against the industry average.
-- Written by a member of TheStreet RatingsStaff