NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- ReachLocal (Nasdaq: RLOC) has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from sell to hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and impressive record of earnings per share growth. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the stock has had a generally disappointing performance in the past year. Highlights from the ratings report include:
- The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 13.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 23.7%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
- RLOC has no debt to speak of therefore resulting in a debt-to-equity ratio of zero, which we consider to be a relatively favorable sign. Along with the favorable debt-to-equity ratio, the company maintains an adequate quick ratio of 1.07, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
- 49.80% is the gross profit margin for REACHLOCAL INC which we consider to be strong. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Regardless of the strong results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of -1.00% is in-line with the industry average.
- Current return on equity exceeded its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of strength within the company. Compared to other companies in the Media industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, REACHLOCAL INC underperformed against that of the industry average and is significantly less than that of the S&P 500.
- RLOC's stock share price has done very poorly compared to where it was a year ago: Despite any rallies, the net result is that it is down by 61.77%, which is also worse that the performance of the S&P 500 Index. Investors have so far failed to pay much attention to the earnings improvements the company has managed to achieve over the last 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