Emeritus Corportion Stock Downgraded (ESC)

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Emeritus Corportion (NYSE: ESC) has been downgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its deteriorating net income, generally weak debt management, disappointing return on equity, generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself and poor profit margins.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • 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 Health Care Providers & Services industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 197.8% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $22.20 million to -$21.72 million.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is very high at 9.12 and currently higher than the industry average, implying that there is very poor management of debt levels within the company. Along with this, the company manages to maintain a quick ratio of 0.42, which clearly demonstrates the inability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • Return on equity has greatly decreased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of major weakness within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Health Care Providers & Services industry and the overall market, EMERITUS CORP's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The share price of EMERITUS CORP has not done very well: it is down 15.64% 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. The fact that the stock is now selling for less than others in its industry in relation to its current earnings is not reason enough to justify a buy rating at this time.
  • The gross profit margin for EMERITUS CORP is rather low; currently it is at 21.10%. Regardless of ESC'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 -5.80% trails the industry average.

Emeritus Corporation operates senior living communities in the United States. The company's communities offer Alzheimer's and dementia care, independent living, assisted living, specialized memory care, and skilled nursing care services. Emeritus Corportion has a market cap of $722.1 million and is part of the health care sector and health services industry. Shares are down 8.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

You can view the full Emeritus Corportion 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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