Granite Construction Inc. Stock Downgraded (GVA)

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) -- Granite Construction (NYSE: GVA) has been downgraded by TheStreet Ratings from buy 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 solid stock price performance. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including feeble growth in the company's earnings per share, deteriorating net income and disappointing return on equity.

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Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 10.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 22.1%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.36, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels. Along with the favorable debt-to-equity ratio, the company maintains an adequate quick ratio of 1.14, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • Compared to its closing price of one year ago, GVA's share price has jumped by 28.54%, exceeding the performance of the broader market during that same time frame. Setting our sights on the months ahead, however, we feel that the stock's sharp appreciation over the last year has driven it to a price level which is now relatively expensive compared to the rest of its industry. The implication is that its reduced upside potential is not good enough to warrant further investment at this time.
  • The gross profit margin for GRANITE CONSTRUCTION INC is currently extremely low, coming in at 12.20%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of -5.80% trails that of the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$54.65 million or 138.94% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing the cash generation rate to the industry average, the firm's growth is significantly lower.
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Granite Construction Incorporated operates as a heavy civil contractor and a construction materials producer for public and private sector clients in the United States. The company operates in four segments: Construction, Large Project Construction, Construction Materials, and Real Estate. The company has a P/E ratio of 33.5, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Granite Construction has a market cap of $1.16 billion and is part of the industrial goods sector and materials & construction industry. Shares are down 10.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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

-- Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff

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