Stifel Financial Corp. Stock Downgraded (SF)

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Stifel Financial (NYSE: SF) 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 growth in earnings per share. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself and poor profit margins.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 23.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 9.8%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is somewhat low, currently at 0.65, and is less than that of the industry average, implying that there has been a relatively successful effort in the management of debt levels.
  • The gross profit margin for STIFEL FINANCIAL CORP is rather low; currently it is at 18.80%. Regardless of SF's low profit margin, it has managed to increase from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 8.50% trails the industry average.
  • SF has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 20.08% from its price level of one year ago. Looking ahead, other than the push or pull of the broad market, we do not see anything in the company's numbers that may help reverse the decline experienced over the past 12 months. Despite the past decline, the stock is still selling for more than most others in its industry.

Stifel Financial Corp., a financial holding company, operates as a retail and institutional brokerage, and investment banking company in the United States and internationally. The company has a P/E ratio of 21.8, equal to the average financial services industry P/E ratio and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Stifel Financial has a market cap of $1.62 billion and is part of the financial sector and financial services industry. Shares are down 5.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

You can view the full Stifel Financial 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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