Vera Bradley Inc. Stock Upgraded (VRA)

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) -- Vera Bradley (Nasdaq: VRA) has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from sell to hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself and unimpressive growth in net income.

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Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • VRA's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 10.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 18.5%. 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.
  • VERA BRADLEY INC' earnings per share from the most recent quarter came in slightly below the year earlier quarter. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, VERA BRADLEY INC increased its bottom line by earning $1.44 versus $0.73 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.62 versus $1.44).
  • VRA's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.17 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Although the company had a strong debt-to-equity ratio, its quick ratio of 0.77 is somewhat weak and could be cause for future problems.
  • The change in net income from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500, but is less than that of the Textiles, Apparel & Luxury Goods industry average. The net income has decreased by 1.9% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, dropping from $13.63 million to $13.37 million.
  • Looking at the price performance of VRA's shares over the past 12 months, there is not much good news to report: the stock is down 32.17%, and it has underformed the S&P 500 Index. In addition, the company's earnings per share are lower today than the year-earlier quarter. Turning toward the future, the fact that the stock has come down in price over the past year should not necessarily be interpreted as a negative; it could be one of the factors that may help make the stock attractive down the road. Right now, however, we believe that it is too soon to buy.
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Vera Bradley, Inc., through its subsidiary, Vera Bradley Designs, Inc., engages in the design, production, marketing, and retail of stylish and functional accessories for women under the 'Vera Bradley' brand. Its products include a range of handbags, accessories, and travel and leisure items. The company has a P/E ratio of 20.5, equal to the average consumer non-durables industry P/E ratio and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Vera Bradley has a market cap of $1.22 billion and is part of the consumer goods sector and consumer non-durables industry. Shares are down 7% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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

-- Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff

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.

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