Gulf Resources Inc. Stock Downgraded (GURE)

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) -- Gulf Resources (Nasdaq: GURE) has been downgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its feeble growth in its earnings per share, deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity, weak operating cash flow and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

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Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • GULF RESOURCES INC's earnings per share declined by 25.0% 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. During the past fiscal year, GULF RESOURCES INC reported lower earnings of $0.88 versus $1.48 in the prior year.
  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed against the S&P 500 and did not exceed that of the Chemicals industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 26.4% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $5.59 million to $4.11 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. In comparison to the other companies in the Chemicals industry and the overall market, GULF RESOURCES INC's return on equity is significantly below that of the industry average and is below that of the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to $8.40 million or 65.22% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.
  • Looking at the price performance of GURE's shares over the past 12 months, there is not much good news to report: the stock is down 44.93%, and it has underformed the S&P 500 Index. In addition, the company's earnings per share are lower today than the year-earlier quarter. Naturally, the overall market trend is bound to be a significant factor. However, in one sense, the stock's sharp decline last year is a positive for future investors, making it cheaper (in proportion to its earnings over the past year) than most other stocks in its industry. But due to other concerns, we feel the stock is still not a good buy right now.
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Gulf Resources, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, manufactures and trades bromine and crude salt products in the People's Republic of China. The company has a P/E ratio of three, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Gulf has a market cap of $41.3 million and is part of the basic materials sector and chemicals industry. Shares are down 33.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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

-- Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff

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