MDU Resources Group Inc Stock Upgraded (MDU)

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- MDU Resources Group (NYSE: MDU) has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, increase in net income and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 10.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 4.0%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500 and greatly outperformed compared to the Multi-Utilities industry average. The net income increased by 20.0% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $45.07 million to $54.10 million.
  • The stock price has risen over the past year, but, despite its earnings growth and some other positive factors, it has underperformed the S&P 500 so far. Looking ahead, unless broad bear market conditions prevail, we still see more upside potential for this stock, despite the fact that it has already risen over the past year.
  • MDU RESOURCES GROUP INC has improved earnings per share by 8.3% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. We feel it is likely to report a decline in earnings in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, MDU RESOURCES GROUP INC reported lower earnings of $1.19 versus $1.29 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 3.4% in earnings ($1.15 versus $1.19).
  • The gross profit margin for MDU RESOURCES GROUP INC is rather low; currently it is at 18.10%. Regardless of MDU'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 5.60% trails the industry average.

MDU Resources Group, Inc. operates as a diversified natural resource company in the United States. The company generates, transmits, and distributes electricity, as well as distributes natural gas. The company has a P/E ratio of 18.8, below the average materials & construction industry P/E ratio of 19.5 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. MDU Resources Group has a market cap of $4.19 billion and is part of the industrial goods sector and materials & construction industry. Shares are up 3.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

You can view the full MDU Resources Group 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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