Harte-Hanks Inc. Stock Downgraded (HHS)

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) -- Harte-Hanks (NYSE: HHS) has been downgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its feeble growth in its earnings per share, deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity, poor profit margins and weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • HARTE HANKS 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 two years. We anticipate that this should continue in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, HARTE HANKS INC reported lower earnings of $0.69 versus $0.84 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 10.1% in earnings ($0.62 versus $0.69).
  • 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 Media industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 1264.0% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $9.43 million to -$109.71 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 Media industry and the overall market, HARTE HANKS INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for HARTE HANKS INC is rather low; currently it is at 17.90%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of -55.10% is significantly below that of the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $13.69 million or 28.70% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing the cash generation rate to the industry average, the firm's growth is significantly lower.

Harte-Hanks, Inc., a direct and targeted marketing company, provides direct marketing services and shopper advertising opportunities to local, regional, national, and international consumer and business-to-business marketers. It operates in two segments, Direct Marketing and Shoppers. Harte-Hanks has a market cap of $415.8 million and is part of the services sector and media industry. Shares are down 22.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

You can view the full Harte-Hanks Ratings Report or get investment ideas from our investment research center.

-- Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff
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