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) -- Telefonica Brasil S.A (NYSE: VIV) has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and attractive valuation levels. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat weak growth in earnings per share.
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- VIV's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.18 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Along with the favorable debt-to-equity ratio, the company maintains an adequate quick ratio of 1.09, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
- VIV, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 3.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 7.4%. The declining revenue appears to have seeped down to the company's bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
- The company's current return on equity has slightly decreased from the same quarter one year prior. This implies a minor weakness in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Diversified Telecommunication Services industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, TELEFONICA BRASIL SA has outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500.
- Reflecting the weaknesses we have cited, including the decline in the company's earnings per share, VIV has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 15.14% from its price level of one year ago. 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