CRA International Inc. Stock Downgraded (CRAI)

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) -- CRA International (Nasdaq: CRAI) has been downgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its disappointing return on equity and poor profit margins.

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Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Return on equity has greatly decreased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of major weakness within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Professional Services industry and the overall market, CRA INTERNATIONAL INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for CRA INTERNATIONAL INC is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 33.50%. Regardless of CRAI's low profit margin, it has managed to increase from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 4.70% trails the industry average.
  • In its most recent trading session, CRAI has closed at a price level that was not very different from its closing price of one year earlier. This is probably due to its weak earnings growth as well as other mixed factors. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, we do not believe this stock offers ample reward opportunity to compensate for the risks, despite the fact that it rose over the past year.
  • CRAI, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 2.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 8.7%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.
  • CRA INTERNATIONAL INC 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, CRA INTERNATIONAL INC swung to a loss, reporting -$5.28 versus $1.57 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.41 versus -$5.28).
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CRA International, Inc. provides economic, financial, and management consulting services primarily in the United States and the United Kingdom. CRA International has a market cap of $184.4 million and is part of the services sector and diversified services industry. Shares are down 8.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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

-- Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff

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