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) -- Hess (NYSE: HES) has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to buy. The company's strongest point has been its expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.
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- HESS CORP's earnings per share declined by 9.6% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. 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, HESS CORP reported lower earnings of $5.01 versus $6.50 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($5.95 versus $5.01).
- HES, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 1.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 5.6%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
- The gross profit margin for HESS CORP is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 28.10%. Regardless of HES'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 5.90% trails the industry average.
- Reflecting the weaknesses we have cited, including the decline in the company's earnings per share, HES has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 6.81% from its price level of one year ago. Looking ahead, although the push and pull of the overall market trend could certainly make a critical difference, we do not see any strong reason stemming from the company's fundamentals that would cause a continuation of last year's decline. In fact, the stock is now selling for less than others in its industry in relation to its current earnings.
- Despite currently having a low debt-to-equity ratio of 0.39, it is higher than that of the industry average, inferring that management of debt levels may need to be evaluated further. Despite the fact that HES's debt-to-equity ratio is mixed in its results, the company's quick ratio of 0.69 is low and demonstrates weak liquidity.
-- Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff