NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Solar Capital (Nasdaq: SLRC) has been downgraded by TheStreet Ratings from buy to hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including disappointing return on equity, a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself and feeble growth in the company's earnings per share. Highlights from the ratings report include:
- The revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 22.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 12.4%. 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.
- SLRC's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.20 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels.
- Reflecting the weaknesses we have cited, including the decline in the company's earnings per share, SLRC has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 11.39% from its price level of one year ago. The fact that the stock is now selling for less than others in its industry in relation to its current earnings is not reason enough to justify a buy rating at this time.
- Current return on equity is lower than its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of weakness within the company. When compared to other companies in the Capital Markets industry and the overall market, SOLAR CAPITAL LTD's return on equity is below that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
-- Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff