Durect Corporation Stock Upgraded (DRRX)

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Durect Corporation (Nasdaq: DRRX) 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, notable return on equity and reasonable valuation levels. 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:
  • DRRX's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 4.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 378.7%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • The company's current return on equity greatly increased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of significant strength within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Pharmaceuticals industry and the overall market, DURECT CORP's return on equity significantly exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Pharmaceuticals industry. The net income increased by 585.0% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$6.36 million to $30.83 million.
  • DRRX'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 48.22%, 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.

DURECT Corporation, a specialty pharmaceutical company, develops pharmaceutical systems technologies based on its proprietary drug delivery technology platforms. The company has a P/E ratio of 4.9, equal to the average drugs industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Durect has a market cap of $90.3 million and is part of the health care sector and drugs industry. Shares are down 1.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday.

You can view the full Durect 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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