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) -- USG (NYSE: USG) has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from sell to hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations and solid stock price performance. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including disappointing return on equity, generally higher debt management risk and poor profit margins.
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- The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 5.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 8.5%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
- Powered by its strong earnings growth of 73.87% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 197.22% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. Regarding the stock's future course, our hold rating indicates that we do not recommend additional investment in this stock despite its gains in the past year.
- The debt-to-equity ratio is very high at 21.20 and currently higher than the industry average, implying increased risk associated with the management of debt levels within the company. Regardless of the company's weak debt-to-equity ratio, USG has managed to keep a strong quick ratio of 1.61, which demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
- 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 Building Products industry and the overall market, USG CORP's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
-- Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff