SunOpta Inc. Stock Downgraded (STKL)

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) -- SunOpta (Nasdaq: STKL) has been downgraded by TheStreet Ratings from buy to hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, increase in net income and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including disappointing return on equity and poor profit margins.

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Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • STKL's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 7.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 2.5%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Food Products industry. The net income increased by 72.4% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $3.37 million to $5.80 million.
  • Compared to where it was a year ago today, the stock is now trading at a higher level, reflecting both the market's overall trend during that period and the fact that the company's earnings growth has been robust. We feel that the combination of its price rise over the last year and its current price-to-earnings ratio relative to its industry tend to reduce its upside potential.
  • The company's current return on equity has slightly decreased from the same quarter one year prior. This implies a minor weakness in the organization. In comparison to the other companies in the Food Products industry and the overall market, SUNOPTA INC's return on equity is significantly below that of the industry average and is below that of the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for SUNOPTA INC is currently extremely low, coming in at 13.30%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 2.10% trails that of the industry average.
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SunOpta Inc. engages in the sourcing, processing, and packaging of natural and organic food products. The company has a P/E ratio of 37.9, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. SunOpta has a market cap of $400.5 million and is part of the consumer goods sector and food & beverage industry. Shares are up 25.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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

-- Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff

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