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) -- Gerdau (NYSE: GGB) has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its attractive valuation levels, good cash flow from operations, solid stock price performance and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.
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- Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 189.40% to $478.88 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, GERDAU SA has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -26.65%.
- GGB's share price has surged by 25.70% over the past year, reflecting the market's general trend, despite their weak earnings growth during the last quarter. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, GGB should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
- GERDAU SA's earnings per share declined by 21.1% 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, GERDAU SA reported lower earnings of $0.64 versus $0.90 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.09 versus $0.64).
- GGB, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 14.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 25.2%. The declining revenue appears to have seeped down to the company's bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
-- Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff