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) -- Harvard Bioscience (Nasdaq: HBIO) has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, good cash flow from operations and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.
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- Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 5.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 5.0%. 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.
- HBIO's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.16 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Along with this, the company maintains a quick ratio of 3.40, which clearly demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
- Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 54.33% to $2.55 million when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of 20.87%.
- 48.90% is the gross profit margin for HARVARD BIOSCIENCE INC which we consider to be strong. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Regardless of the strong results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 2.70% trails the industry average.
- HARVARD BIOSCIENCE INC's earnings per share declined by 40.0% 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 two years. However, we anticipate this trend to reverse over the coming year. During the past fiscal year, HARVARD BIOSCIENCE INC reported lower earnings of $0.13 versus $0.65 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.25 versus $0.13).
-- Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff