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) -- Black Hills Corporation (NYSE: BKH) has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.
- ACTIVE STOCK TRADERS: Get full access to Jim Cramer's thoughts for less than $3/week - sometimes before he says them on TV! Start with a 14-Day Free Trial.
- 36.70% is the gross profit margin for BLACK HILLS CORP which we consider to be strong. It has increased significantly from the same period last year. Regardless of the strong results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of -5.60% is in-line with the industry average.
- Net operating cash flow has increased to $80.63 million or 13.97% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow, BLACK HILLS CORP's average is still marginally south of the industry average growth rate of 22.06%.
- Regardless of the drop in revenue, the company managed to outperform against the industry average of 10.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 7.0%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
- BLACK HILLS CORP 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 suffered a declining pattern of earnings per share over the past two years. However, we anticipate this trend to reverse over the coming year. During the past fiscal year, BLACK HILLS CORP reported lower earnings of $0.94 versus $1.62 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.00 versus $0.94).
- Compared to where it was 12 months ago, the stock is up, but it has so far lagged the appreciation in the S&P 500. Looking ahead, the stock's rise over the last year has already helped drive it to a level which is relatively expensive compared to the rest of its industry. We feel, however, that the other strengths this company displays justify these higher price levels.
-- Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff