Covance Inc. Stock Downgraded (CVD)

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Covance (NYSE: CVD) 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, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and notable return on equity. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, unimpressive growth in net income and poor profit margins.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • CVD's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 4.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 6.8%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
  • CVD's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.28 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Although the company had a strong debt-to-equity ratio, its quick ratio of 1.00 is somewhat weak and could be cause for future problems.
  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Life Sciences Tools & Services industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 133.7% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $37.64 million to -$12.68 million.
  • The share price of COVANCE INC has not done very well: it is down 17.89% and has underperformed the S&P 500, in part reflecting the company's sharply declining earnings per share when compared to the year-earlier quarter. Looking ahead, we do not see anything in this company's numbers that would change the one-year trend. It was down over the last twelve months; and it could be down again in the next twelve. Naturally, a bull or bear market could sway the movement of this stock.

Covance Inc., a drug development services company, provides various early-stage and late-stage product development services primarily to the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device industries worldwide. The company has a P/E ratio of 33.3, below the average health services industry P/E ratio of 34 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Covance has a market cap of $2.6 billion and is part of the health care sector and health services industry. Shares are up 2.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

You can view the full Covance 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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