NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Stewart Information Services (NYSE: STC) has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to buy. 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, solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth and compelling growth in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.
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- STC's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 13.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 18.3%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
- STC's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.15 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels.
- Powered by its strong earnings growth of 275.00% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 50.24% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, STC should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
- STEWART INFORMATION SERVICES 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. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, STEWART INFORMATION SERVICES turned its bottom line around by earning $0.06 versus -$0.85 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.55 versus $0.06).
- 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 319.4% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $5.94 million to $24.91 million.
-- Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff