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) -- Icon (Nasdaq: ICLR) has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, increase in net income, expanding profit margins, solid stock price performance 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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- The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 1.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 18.6%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost 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 Life Sciences Tools & Services industry. The net income increased by 766.1% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$2.66 million to $17.74 million.
- 35.80% is the gross profit margin for ICON PLC which we consider to be strong. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Regardless of the strong results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 6.20% trails the industry average.
- Powered by its strong earnings growth of 825.00% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 62.29% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. We feel that the stock's sharp appreciation over the last year has driven it to a price level which is now somewhat expensive compared to the rest of its industry. The other strengths this company shows, however, justify the higher price levels.
- ICON PLC reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, ICON PLC reported lower earnings of $0.38 versus $1.44 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.98 versus $0.38).
-- Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff