Mercer International Inc. Stock Downgraded (MERC)

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Mercer International (Nasdaq: MERC) has been downgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself, feeble growth in its earnings per share, deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and poor profit margins.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Despite any intermediate fluctuations, we have only bad news to report on this stock's performance over the last year: it has tumbled by 41.05%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 92.30% compared to the year-earlier quarter. Despite the heavy decline in its share price, this stock is still more expensive (when compared to its current earnings) than most other companies in its industry.
  • MERCER INTL INC has exprienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from the same quarter a year ago. Earnings per share have declined over the last year. We anticipate that this should continue in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, MERCER INTL INC reported lower earnings of $1.16 versus $1.93 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 77.6% in earnings ($0.26 versus $1.16).
  • 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 Paper & Forest Products industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 91.6% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $21.88 million to $1.84 million.
  • 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 Paper & Forest Products industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, MERCER INTL INC underperformed against that of the industry average and is significantly less than that of the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for MERCER INTL INC is rather low; currently it is at 20.40%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 0.80% trails that of the industry average.

Mercer International Inc., together with its subsidiaries, engages in the manufacture and sale of northern bleached softwood kraft (NBSK) pulp primarily in North America, Europe, and Asia. Mercer International has a market cap of $286.7 million and is part of the consumer goods sector and consumer non-durables industry. Shares are down 15.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday.

You can view the full Mercer International 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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