Editor's Note: 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 NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Benchmark Electronics (NYSE: BHE) 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, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.
- ACTIVE STOCK TRADERS: Check out TheStreet's special offer for Real Money, headlined by Jim Cramer, now!
- The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 4.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 7.6%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displaying stagnant earnings per share.
- BHE's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.01 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. To add to this, BHE has a quick ratio of 2.15, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
- BENCHMARK ELECTRONICS INC reported flat earnings per share in the most recent quarter. The company has suffered a declining pattern of earnings per share over the past year. However, we anticipate this trend reversing over the coming year. During the past fiscal year, BENCHMARK ELECTRONICS INC reported lower earnings of $0.87 versus $1.28 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.21 versus $0.87).
- The change in net income from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the Electronic Equipment, Instruments & Components industry average, but is less than that of the S&P 500. The net income has decreased by 7.6% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, dropping from $14.70 million to $13.58 million.
- Compared to where it was a year ago today, the stock is now trading at a higher level, regardless of the company's weak earnings results. The stock's price rise over the last year has driven it to a level which is somewhat expensive compared to the rest of its industry. We feel, however, that other strengths this company displays justify these higher price levels.
-- Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff