Vale SA Stock Hold Recommendation Reiterated (VALE)

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) -- Vale (NYSE: VALE) has been reiterated by TheStreet Ratings as a hold with a ratings score of C. 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 attractive valuation levels. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, disappointing return on equity and feeble growth in the company's earnings per share.

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Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • VALE's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 1.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 0.2%. 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, 0.42, 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 1.32, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • The gross profit margin for VALE SA is rather high; currently it is at 56.60%. Regardless of VALE's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, VALE's net profit margin of 28.44% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • Reflecting the weaknesses we have cited, including the decline in the company's earnings per share, VALE has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 22.33% from its price level of one year ago. The fact that the stock is now selling for less than others in its industry in relation to its current earnings is not reason enough to justify a buy rating at this time.
  • 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 Metals & Mining industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, VALE SA has outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500.

Vale S.A. engages in the research, production, and marketing of iron ore and pellets, nickel, fertilizers, copper, coal, manganese, ferroalloys, cobalt, platinum group metals, and precious metals in Brazil and internationally. Vale has a market cap of $72.0 billion and is part of the basic materials sector and metals & mining industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.00, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 18.00. Shares are down 35.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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

--Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff.

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