Nevsun Resources Ltd. Stock Downgraded (NSU)

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Nevsun Resources (AMEX: NSU) has been downgraded by TheStreet Ratings from buy to hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity and attractive valuation levels. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the stock has had a generally disappointing performance in the past year.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Metals & Mining industry. The net income increased by 2591.7% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$2.14 million to $53.32 million.
  • NSU 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. To add to this, NSU has a quick ratio of 2.30, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • NEVSUN RESOURCES LTD reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has not demonstrated a clear trend in earnings over the past two years, making it difficult to accurately predict earnings for the coming year. During the past fiscal year, NEVSUN RESOURCES LTD reported poor results of -$0.07 versus -$0.04 in the prior year.
  • NSU's stock share price has done very poorly compared to where it was a year ago: Despite any rallies, the net result is that it is down by 32.76%, which is also worse that the performance of the S&P 500 Index. Investors have so far failed to pay much attention to the earnings improvements the company has managed to achieve over the last 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.
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Nevsun Resources Ltd., a natural resource company, together with its subsidiaries, engages in the acquisition, exploration, development, and production of mineral properties. It principally mines and explores for gold, as well as base metals, such as copper and zinc. The company has a P/E ratio of eight, below the average metals & mining industry P/E ratio of 12.5 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Nevsun has a market cap of $1.22 billion and is part of the basic materials sector and metals & mining industry. Shares are down 29.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

You can view the full Nevsun Ratings Report or get investment ideas from our investment research center.
-- Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff
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