NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- United Fire Group (Nasdaq: UFCS) has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, attractive valuation levels, solid stock price performance, increase in net income and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity. Highlights from the ratings report include:
- The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 13.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 34.4%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
- Looking at where the stock is today compared to one year ago, we find that it is not only higher, but it has also clearly outperformed the rise in the S&P 500 over the same period. Although other factors naturally played a role, the company's strong earnings growth was key. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, it goes without saying that even the best stocks can fall in an overall down market. However, in any other environment, this stock still has good upside potential despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year.
- The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Insurance industry. The net income increased by 230.2% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $5.81 million to $19.18 million.
- UNITED FIRE GROUP INC reported significant earnings per share improvement 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, UNITED FIRE GROUP INC reported lower earnings of $0.00 versus $1.81 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an increase in earnings to $1.45 from $0.00.
-- Written by a member of TheStreet RatingsStaff