Rating Change #1

Scotts Miracle Gro Co ( SMG) has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • SMG's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 1.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 3.9%. 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.
  • 39.50% is the gross profit margin for SCOTTS MIRACLE-GRO CO which we consider to be strong. Regardless of SMG's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, SMG's net profit margin of 10.80% compares favorably to the industry average.
  • SCOTTS MIRACLE-GRO CO's earnings per share declined by 6.8% 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, SCOTTS MIRACLE-GRO CO reported lower earnings of $1.73 versus $2.93 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.85 versus $1.73).
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is very high at 2.49 and currently higher than the industry average, implying that there is very poor management of debt levels within the company. Even though the debt-to-equity ratio is weak, SMG's quick ratio is somewhat strong at 1.24, demonstrating the ability to handle short-term liquidity needs.
  • Return on equity has greatly decreased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of major weakness within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Chemicals industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, SCOTTS MIRACLE-GRO CO has underperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has exceeded that of the S&P 500.
.

The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company manufactures and markets lawn and garden care products worldwide. The company has a P/E ratio of 19.5, below the average chemicals industry P/E ratio of 23.4 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Scotts Miracle Gro has a market cap of $3.35 billion and is part of the basic materials sector and chemicals industry. Shares are down 1.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

You can view the full Scotts Miracle Gro Ratings Report or get investment ideas from our investment research center.

-- Reported by Kevin Baker in Jupiter, Fla.

For additional Investment Research check out our Ratings Research Center.

For all other upgrades and downgrades made by TheStreet Ratings Model today check out our upgrades and downgrades list.
Kevin Baker became the senior financial analyst for TheStreet Ratings upon the August 2006 acquisition of Weiss Ratings by TheStreet.com, covering equity and mutual fund ratings. He joined the Weiss Group in 1997 as a banking and brokerage analyst. In 1999, he created the Weiss Group's first ratings to gauge the level of risk in U.S. equities. Baker received a B.S. degree in management from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and an M.B.A. with a finance specialization from Nova Southeastern University.

If you liked this article you might like

Wall Street Looks Past Fed's $4.5 Trillion Balance Sheet for Rate-Hike Signals

Bank Stocks Move Higher Ahead of Federal Reserve Meeting

Former Macy's Herald Square Employees Sue Alleging Racial Profiling of Customers

Morgan Stanley Is Using Snapchat to Recruit College Students and Make Them Rich

The New Goldman Sachs Intern Class Is Revealed -- Here's What They Look Like