NetSpend Holdings Inc. Stock Upgraded (NTSP)

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- NetSpend Holdings (Nasdaq: NTSP) has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from sell to hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, growth in earnings per share and increase in net income. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the company's return on equity has been disappointing.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • NTSP's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 7.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 14.7%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • NETSPEND HOLDINGS INC 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 year. We feel that this trend should continue. This trend suggests that the performance of the business is improving. During the past fiscal year, NETSPEND HOLDINGS INC increased its bottom line by earning $0.36 versus $0.21 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.53 versus $0.36).
  • Compared to where it was a year ago today, the stock is now trading at a higher level, reflecting both the market's overall trend during that period and the fact that the company's earnings growth has been robust. Looking ahead, the stock's rise over the last year has already helped drive it to a level which is relatively expensive compared to the rest of its industry, implying reduced upside potential.
  • NTSP's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.06 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 0.96 is somewhat weak and could be cause for future problems.
  • The company's current return on equity has slightly decreased from the same quarter one year prior. This implies a minor weakness in the organization. When compared to other companies in the Consumer Finance industry and the overall market, NETSPEND HOLDINGS INC's return on equity is below that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.

Netspend Holdings, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, provides general purpose reloadable (GPR) prepaid debit and payroll cards, and alternative financial service solutions to underbanked and other consumers in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 40.5, below the average diversified services industry P/E ratio of 44.7 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. NetSpend has a market cap of $649.9 million and is part of the services sector and diversified services industry. Shares are up 4.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

You can view the full NetSpend 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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