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) -- Vical Incorporated (Nasdaq: VICL) has been downgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity, generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself and feeble growth in its earnings per share.
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- The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Biotechnology industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 147.0% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $16.43 million to -$7.73 million.
- 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 Biotechnology industry and the overall market, VICAL INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
- The share price of VICAL INC has not done very well: it is down 12.26% and has underperformed the S&P 500, in part reflecting the company's sharply declining earnings per share when compared to the year-earlier quarter. The fact that the stock is now selling for less than others in its industry in relation to its current earnings is not reason enough to justify a buy rating at this time.
- VICAL INC has exprienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. We feel it is likely to report a decline in earnings in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, VICAL INC continued to lose money by earning -$0.11 versus -$0.51 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 154.5% in earnings (-$0.28 versus -$0.11).
- VICL, with its very weak revenue results, has greatly underperformed against the industry average of 6.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues plummeted by 91.8%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
-- Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff