Electronic Arts Inc. Stock Upgraded (EA)

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) -- Electronic Arts (Nasdaq: EA) 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, expanding profit margins, notable return on equity and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

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Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • EA's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.25 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 1.04, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • ELECTRONIC ARTS INC's earnings per share declined by 12.5% 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, ELECTRONIC ARTS INC increased its bottom line by earning $0.32 versus $0.21 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.10 versus $0.32).
  • The gross profit margin for ELECTRONIC ARTS INC is currently very high, coming in at 73.70%. Regardless of EA's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, EA's net profit margin of 26.71% compares favorably to the industry average.
  • EA, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 1.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 11.6%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • Compared to where it was a year ago today, the stock is now trading at a higher level, regardless of the company's weak earnings results. Looking ahead, the stock's rise over the last year has already helped drive it to a level which is relatively expensive compared to the rest of its industry. We feel, however, that the other strengths this company displays justify these higher price levels.
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Electronic Arts Inc. develops, markets, publishes, and distributes game software content and services for video game consoles, personal computers, mobile phones, tablets and electronic readers, and the Internet. The company has a P/E ratio of 37.3, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Electronic Arts has a market cap of $5.49 billion and is part of the technology sector and computer software & services industry. Shares are up 26% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

You can view the full Electronic Arts 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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