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) -- Nucor (NYSE: NUE) has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its reasonable valuation levels, good cash flow from operations, increase in stock price during the past year and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.
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- Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 78.27% to $678.20 million when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of 64.59%.
- Compared to where it was 12 months ago, the stock is up, but it has so far lagged the appreciation in the S&P 500. Looking ahead, unless broad bear market conditions prevail, we still see more upside potential for this stock, despite the fact that it has already risen over the past year.
- Despite the weak revenue results, NUE has outperformed against the industry average of 19.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 8.6%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
- Despite currently having a low debt-to-equity ratio of 0.56, it is higher than that of the industry average, inferring that management of debt levels may need to be evaluated further. Regardless of the somewhat mixed results with the debt-to-equity ratio, the company's quick ratio of 1.36 is sturdy.
-- Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff