NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Winthrop Realty (NYSE: FUR) has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, attractive valuation levels and increase in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity. Highlights from the ratings report include:
- The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.56, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels.
- WINTHROP REALTY TRUST's earnings per share declined by 15.4% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has suffered a declining pattern of earnings per share over the past year. However, we anticipate this trend reversing over the coming year. During the past fiscal year, WINTHROP REALTY TRUST reported lower earnings of $0.34 versus $0.81 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.39 versus $0.34).
- FUR, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 17.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 4.7%. The declining revenue appears to have seeped down to the company's bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
- The company, on the basis of net income growth from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed compared to the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry average, but is greater than that of the S&P 500. The net income increased by 15.8% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $7.13 million to $8.25 million.
-- Written by a member of TheStreet RatingsStaff