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) -- Sun Life Financial (NYSE: SLF) has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, increase in net income, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, reasonable valuation levels and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.
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- 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. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, it goes without saying that even the best stocks can fall in an overall down market. However, in any other environment, this stock still has good upside potential despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year.
- The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Insurance industry. The net income increased by 169.1% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$596.00 million to $412.00 million.
- SLF's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.30 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels.
- The revenue fell significantly faster than the industry average of 21.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 30.2%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.
-- Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff