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) -- Lawson Products (Nasdaq: LAWS) has been downgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity, generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself and feeble growth in its earnings per share.
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- 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 Trading Companies & Distributors industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 5837.1% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $1.07 million to -$61.16 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 Trading Companies & Distributors industry and the overall market, LAWSON PRODUCTS's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
- Despite any intermediate fluctuations, we have only bad news to report on this stock's performance over the last year: it has tumbled by 58.67%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 5576.92% compared to the year-earlier quarter. Naturally, the overall market trend is bound to be a significant factor. However, in one sense, the stock's sharp decline last year is a positive for future investors, making it cheaper (in proportion to its earnings over the past year) than most other stocks in its industry. But due to other concerns, we feel the stock is still not a good buy right now.
- LAWSON PRODUCTS 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. The company has reported a trend of declining earnings per share over the past two years. However, the consensus estimate suggests that this trend should reverse in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, LAWSON PRODUCTS swung to a loss, reporting -$0.51 versus $1.11 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings (-$0.27 versus -$0.51).
- LAWS, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 16.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 11.7%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
-- Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff