Altera Corp. Stock Buy Recommendation Reiterated (ALTR)

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) -- Altera (Nasdaq: ALTR) has been reiterated by TheStreet Ratings as a buy with a ratings score of B . The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, expanding profit margins and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat weak growth in earnings per share.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • ALTR'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 5.61, which clearly demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • The gross profit margin for ALTERA CORP is currently very high, coming in at 71.50%. Regardless of ALTR's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, ALTR's net profit margin of 35.00% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • ALTR, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 0.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 15.2%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • 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 Semiconductors & Semiconductor Equipment industry and the overall market, ALTERA CORP's return on equity exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Reflecting the weaknesses we have cited, including the decline in the company's earnings per share, ALTR has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 5.36% from its price level of one year ago. Looking ahead, although the push and pull of the overall market trend could certainly make a critical difference, we do not see any strong reason stemming from the company's fundamentals that would cause a continuation of last year's decline. In fact, the stock is now selling for less than others in its industry in relation to its current earnings.

Altera Corporation, a semiconductor company, designs, manufactures, and markets programmable logic devices (PLD), HardCopy application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) devices, pre-defined design building blocks, and associated development tools. Altera has a market cap of $10.68 billion and is part of the technology sector and electronics industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 17.9, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 10.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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

--Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff.

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