NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Ashford Hospitality (NYSE: AHT) has been downgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its deteriorating net income, generally weak debt management, disappointing return on equity, poor profit margins and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself. Highlights from the ratings report include:
- 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 Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 156.1% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $37.83 million to -$21.22 million.
- The debt-to-equity ratio is very high at 2.55 and currently higher than the industry average, implying that there is very poor management of debt levels within the company.
- The company's current return on equity has slightly decreased from the same quarter one year prior. This implies a minor weakness in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry and the overall market, ASHFORD HOSPITALITY TRUST's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
- The gross profit margin for ASHFORD HOSPITALITY TRUST is currently extremely low, coming in at 5.60%. It has decreased significantly from the same period last year. Along with this, the net profit margin of -9.80% is significantly below that of the industry average.
- Despite any intermediate fluctuations, we have only bad news to report on this stock's performance over the last year: it has tumbled by 27.38%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 197.77% compared to the year-earlier 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.
-- Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff