NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Kansas City Life Insurance (Nasdaq: KCLI) 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, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth 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 shows weak operating cash flow.
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- 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.
- KANSAS CITY LIFE INS CO reported significant earnings per share improvement 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. During the past fiscal year, KANSAS CITY LIFE INS CO increased its bottom line by earning $2.29 versus $1.95 in the prior year.
- The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Insurance industry. The net income increased by 305.8% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $4.79 million to $19.44 million.
- Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 13.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 10.6%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
- KCLI 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.
-- Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff