Bon-Ton Stores Inc Stock Downgraded (BONT)

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) -- Bon-Ton Stores (Nasdaq: BONT) has been downgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its generally high debt management risk, disappointing return on equity and feeble growth in its earnings per share.

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Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is very high at 18.74 and currently higher than the industry average, implying increased risk associated with the management of debt levels within the company. Along with this, the company manages to maintain a quick ratio of 0.09, which clearly demonstrates the inability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • 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 Multiline Retail industry and the overall market, BON-TON STORES INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • BON-TON STORES INC's earnings per share declined by 36.5% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has reported a trend of declining earnings per share over the past two years. However, the consensus estimate suggests that this trend should reverse in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, BON-TON STORES INC swung to a loss, reporting -$1.00 versus $0.81 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings (-$0.09 versus -$1.00).
  • The change in net income from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the Multiline Retail industry average, but is less than that of the S&P 500. The net income has significantly decreased by 39.4% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from -$32.30 million to -$45.04 million.
  • Regardless of the drop in revenue, the company managed to outperform against the industry average of 1.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 0.3%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
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The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc., through its subsidiaries, operates department stores in the United States. Its stores offer brand-name fashion apparel and accessories for women, men, and children, as well as provide cosmetics, home furnishings, and footwear. The company has a P/E ratio of -7.3, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Bon-Ton Stores has a market cap of $193 million and is part of the services sector and retail industry. Shares are up 235% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday.

You can view the full Bon-Ton Stores Ratings Report or get investment ideas from our investment research center.

-- Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff

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