NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Matthews International Corporation (Nasdaq: MATW) has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, reasonable valuation levels, notable return on equity, expanding profit margins and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. Highlights from the ratings report include:
- MATW's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 4.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 4.8%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
- The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Diversified Consumer Services industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, MATTHEWS INTL CORP has underperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has exceeded that of the S&P 500.
- MATTHEWS INTL CORP's earnings per share declined by 11.1% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, MATTHEWS INTL CORP increased its bottom line by earning $2.46 versus $2.31 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.57 versus $2.46).
- 39.20% is the gross profit margin for MATTHEWS INTL CORP which we consider to be strong. Regardless of MATW's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 5.20% trails the industry average.
-- Written by a member of TheStreet RatingsStaff