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) -- Archer-Daniels Midland Company (NYSE: ADM) has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its reasonable valuation levels and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.
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- The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.58, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels. Even though the company has a strong debt-to-equity ratio, the quick ratio of 0.49 is very weak and demonstrates a lack of ability to pay short-term obligations.
- Despite the weak revenue results, ADM has outperformed against the industry average of 10.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 0.4%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
- ARCHER-DANIELS-MIDLAND CO 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. The company has suffered a declining pattern of earnings per share over the past two years. However, we anticipate this trend to reverse over the coming year. During the past fiscal year, ARCHER-DANIELS-MIDLAND CO reported lower earnings of $1.83 versus $3.12 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.21 versus $1.83).
- In its most recent trading session, ADM has closed at a price level that was not very different from its closing price of one year earlier. This is probably due to its weak earnings growth as well as other mixed factors. Looking ahead, although the push and pull of the overall market trend could certainly make a critical difference, we do not see any strong reason stemming from the company's fundamentals that would cause a continuation of last year's decline. In fact, the stock is now selling for less than others in its industry in relation to its current earnings.
-- Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff