NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Con-way (NYSE: CNW) 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, compelling growth in net income, revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself. Highlights from the ratings report include:
- CON-WAY 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, CON-WAY INC increased its bottom line by earning $1.57 versus $0.07 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.15 versus $1.57).
- The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Road & Rail industry. The net income increased by 270.5% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $6.92 million to $25.65 million.
- Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 12.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 9.7%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
- CNW's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.98 is somewhat low overall, but it is high when compared to the industry average, implying that the management of the debt levels should be evaluated further.
- The company's current return on equity greatly increased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of significant strength within the corporation. When compared to other companies in the Road & Rail industry and the overall market, CON-WAY INC's return on equity is below that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
-- Written by a member of TheStreet RatingsStaff