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) -- ITT (NYSE: ITT) has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from sell to hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and impressive record of earnings per share growth. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the company's profit margins have been poor overall.
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- The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 12.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 7.1%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
- ITT's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.04 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 1.27, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
- 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. Although other factors naturally played a role, the company's strong earnings growth was key. We feel that the combination of its price rise over the last year and its current price-to-earnings ratio relative to its industry tend to reduce its upside potential.
- The company's current return on equity greatly increased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of significant strength within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Machinery industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, ITT CORP has underperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has exceeded that of the S&P 500.
- The gross profit margin for ITT CORP is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 31.30%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 5.84% trails that of the industry average.
-- Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff