Peabody Energy Corporation Stock Hold Recommendation Reiterated (BTU)

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) -- Peabody Energy Corporation (NYSE: BTU) has been reiterated by TheStreet Ratings as a hold with a ratings score of C . The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth and attractive valuation levels. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, generally higher debt management risk and weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • BTU's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 1.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 0.9%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
  • PEABODY ENERGY CORP's earnings per share declined by 29.1% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. We feel it is likely to report a decline in earnings in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, PEABODY ENERGY CORP increased its bottom line by earning $3.74 versus $2.86 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 51.3% in earnings ($1.82 versus $3.74).
  • 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 Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 28.1% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $284.80 million to $204.70 million.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio of 1.09 is relatively high when compared with the industry average, suggesting a need for better debt level management. Along with the unfavorable debt-to-equity ratio, BTU maintains a poor quick ratio of 0.75, which illustrates the inability to avoid short-term cash problems.

Peabody Energy Corporation engages in the mining of coal. It mines, prepares, and sells thermal coal to electric utilities and metallurgical coal to industrial customers. The company has a P/E ratio of 6.5, above the average metals & mining industry P/E ratio of 6.3 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Peabody Energy has a market cap of $5.85 billion and is part of the basic materials sector and metals & mining industry. Shares are down 31.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

You can view the full Peabody Energy Ratings Report or get investment ideas from our investment research center.

--Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff.

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