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) -- Big Lots (NYSE: BIG) 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, attractive valuation levels, good cash flow from operations, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.
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- Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 8.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 5.0%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
- Net operating cash flow has slightly increased to $317.04 million or 6.06% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of -18.43%.
- BIG's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.23 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Even though the company has a strong debt-to-equity ratio, the quick ratio of 0.10 is very weak and demonstrates a lack of ability to pay short-term obligations.
- BIG LOTS INC has improved earnings per share by 19.4% 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, BIG LOTS INC reported lower earnings of $2.98 versus $3.01 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($3.19 versus $2.98).
-- Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff