PICO Holdings Inc. Stock Upgraded (PICO)

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- PICO Holdings (Nasdaq: PICO) 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 good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including feeble growth in the company's earnings per share, deteriorating net income and disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • PICO's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 0.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 255.3%. 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.
  • PICO's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.19 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels.
  • 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 Diversified Financial Services industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 39.8% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from -$3.29 million to -$4.60 million.
  • Current return on equity is lower than its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of weakness within the company. Compared to other companies in the Diversified Financial Services industry and the overall market, PICO HOLDINGS INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
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PICO Holdings, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, engages in the water resource and water storage, real estate, insurance, and agribusiness businesses. PICO has a market cap of $521.6 million and is part of the financial sector and insurance industry. Shares are up 14% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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