Rocky Brands Inc. Stock Upgraded (RCKY)

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Rocky Brands (Nasdaq: RCKY) has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share, increase in net income, revenue growth and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • 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.
  • ROCKY BRANDS INC has improved earnings per share by 42.9% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, ROCKY BRANDS INC increased its bottom line by earning $1.11 versus $1.02 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.73 versus $1.11).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Textiles, Apparel & Luxury Goods industry. The net income increased by 33.0% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $0.54 million to $0.72 million.
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 10.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 2.0%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • RCKY's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.18 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Along with this, the company maintains a quick ratio of 2.69, which clearly demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.

Rocky Brands, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, designs, manufactures, and markets footwear and apparel under the Rocky, Georgia Boot, Durango, Lehigh, Mossy Oak, and Michelin brand names. The company has a P/E ratio of 11.3, equal to the average consumer non-durables industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Rocky has a market cap of $96.7 million and is part of the consumer goods sector and consumer non-durables industry. Shares are up 43.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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

-- Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff

TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

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