KKR Financial Corporation Stock Downgraded (KFN)

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) -- KKR Financial Corporation (NYSE: KFN) has been downgraded by TheStreet Ratings from buy to hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, expanding profit margins and solid stock price performance. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including generally higher debt management risk and feeble growth in the company's earnings per share.

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Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • KFN's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 8.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 11.0%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
  • The gross profit margin for KKR FINANCIAL HOLDINGS LLC is currently very high, coming in at 77.00%. Regardless of KFN's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, KFN's net profit margin of 45.15% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • Looking at where the stock is today compared to one year ago, we find that it is not only higher, but it has also clearly outperformed the rise in the S&P 500 over the same period, despite the company's weak earnings results. Despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year, there is currently no conclusive evidence that warrants the purchase or sale of this stock.
  • KKR FINANCIAL HOLDINGS LLC's earnings per share declined by 7.0% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. We feel it is likely to report a decline in earnings in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, KKR FINANCIAL HOLDINGS LLC increased its bottom line by earning $1.88 versus $1.75 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 17.0% in earnings ($1.56 versus $1.88).
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is very high at 3.45 and currently higher than the industry average, implying increased risk associated with the management of debt levels within the company.
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KKR Financial Holdings LLC, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a specialty finance company with expertise in a range of asset classes. The company has a P/E ratio of 5.9, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. KKR Financial has a market cap of $1.98 billion and is part of the financial sector and real estate industry. Shares are up 4.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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

-- Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff

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