NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- CRA International (Nasdaq: CRAI) has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its impressive record of earnings per share growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, attractive valuation levels, good cash flow from operations 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:
- CRA INTERNATIONAL INC reported significant earnings per share improvement 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, CRA INTERNATIONAL INC increased its bottom line by earning $1.57 versus $0.24 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.83 versus $1.57).
- Although CRAI's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.01 is very low, it is currently higher than that of the industry average. To add to this, CRAI has a quick ratio of 1.95, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
- Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 151.34% to $27.84 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, CRA INTERNATIONAL INC has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -1.14%.
- 36.60% is the gross profit margin for CRA INTERNATIONAL INC which we consider to be strong. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Regardless of the strong results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 5.90% trails the industry average.
-- Written by a member of TheStreet RatingsStaff