NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Canadian Natural Resources (NYSE: CNQ) 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, compelling growth in net income and expanding profit margins. 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:
- CNQ's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 11.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 19.5%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
- The gross profit margin for CANADIAN NATURAL RESOURCES is rather high; currently it is at 53.30%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 12.10% is above that of the industry average.
- The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.35, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels. Even though the company has a strong debt-to-equity ratio, the quick ratio of 0.29 is very weak and demonstrates a lack of ability to pay short-term obligations.
- Current return on equity exceeded its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of strength within the company. In comparison to the other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, CANADIAN NATURAL RESOURCES's return on equity is significantly below that of the industry average and is below that of the S&P 500.
- CNQ'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 33.82%, 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. Turning toward the future, the fact that the stock has come down in price over the past year should not necessarily be interpreted as a negative; it could be one of the factors that may help make the stock attractive down the road. Right now, however, we believe that it is too soon to buy.
-- Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff