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) -- VAALCO Energy (NYSE: EGY) 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 and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.
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- EGY has no debt to speak of therefore resulting in a debt-to-equity ratio of zero, which we consider to be a relatively favorable sign. Along with this, the company maintains a quick ratio of 3.44, which clearly demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
- The gross profit margin for VAALCO ENERGY INC is currently very high, coming in at 81.00%. Regardless of EGY's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, EGY's net profit margin of 16.28% compares favorably to the industry average.
- Regardless of the drop in revenue, the company managed to outperform against the industry average of 10.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 2.5%. The declining revenue appears to have seeped down to the company's bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
- VAALCO ENERGY INC's earnings per share declined by 20.0% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has suffered a declining pattern of earnings per share over the past two years. However, we anticipate this trend to reverse over the coming year. During the past fiscal year, VAALCO ENERGY INC reported lower earnings of $0.01 versus $0.58 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.02 versus $0.01).
- Reflecting the weaknesses we have cited, including the decline in the company's earnings per share, EGY has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 22.31% from its price level of one year ago. Looking ahead, although the push and pull of the overall market trend could certainly make a critical difference, we do not see any strong reason stemming from the company's fundamentals that would cause a continuation of last year's decline. In fact, the stock is now selling for less than others in its industry in relation to its current earnings.
-- Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff