Century Aluminum Company Stock Upgraded (CENX)

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) -- Century Aluminum Company (Nasdaq: CENX) has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from sell to hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in net income, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including disappointing return on equity, poor profit margins and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself.

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Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Metals & Mining industry. The net income increased by 287.5% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$4.40 million to $8.25 million.
  • CENX's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.26 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 1.45, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • CENTURY ALUMINUM CO reported significant earnings per share improvement 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, CENTURY ALUMINUM CO swung to a loss, reporting -$0.41 versus $0.07 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings (-$0.05 versus -$0.41).
  • 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 Metals & Mining industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, CENTURY ALUMINUM CO underperformed against that of the industry average and is significantly less than that of the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for CENTURY ALUMINUM CO is currently extremely low, coming in at 10.40%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 2.56% trails that of the industry average.
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Century Aluminum Company, together with its subsidiaries, produces and sells primary aluminum primarily in the United States and Iceland. It offers high purity primary aluminum, molten aluminum, standard-grade ingots, extrusion billets, and other value-added primary aluminum products. Century Aluminum has a market cap of $715.9 million and is part of the basic materials sector and metals & mining industry. Shares are down 1.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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

-- Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff

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.

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