Why North American Palladium (PAL) is Dead

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Nano-cap North American Palladium (PAL) is done for after the stock lost more than a quarter of its value on Tuesday. The previous metals producer has plummeted 28% to 48 cents and 12.6 million shares have changed hands, far exceeding the 90-day average daily trading volume of 1.06 million.

On Thursday, the Toronto-based company reported a third-quarter net loss of 3 cents a share on revenue of $33.3 million. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters had expected a net loss of 4 cents a share on $31.94 million in revenue.

TheStreet, which has pegged the stock as a "sell" since 2007 when it was trading at $7.57, reiterated its negative rating with a ratings score of D. The team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate North American Palladium (PAL) a SELL. This is driven by a few notable weaknesses, which we believe should have a greater impact than any strengths, and could make it more difficult for investors to achieve positive results compared to most of the stocks we cover. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its deteriorating net income, poor profit margins, weak operating cash flow and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Metals & Mining industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 760.4% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from -$3.05 million to -$26.27 million.
  • The gross profit margin for North American Palladium is currently extremely low, coming in at 9.68%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of -79.08% is significantly below that of the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$2.85 million or 524.59% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.
  • Despite any intermediate fluctuations, we have only bad news to report on this stock's performance over the last year: it has tumbled by 50.37%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 1500.00% compared to the year-earlier quarter. Naturally, the overall market trend is bound to be a significant factor. However, in one sense, the stock's sharp decline last year is a positive for future investors, making it cheaper (in proportion to its earnings over the past year) than most other stocks in its industry. But due to other concerns, we feel the stock is still not a good buy right now.
  • The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Metals & Mining industry and the overall market, North American Palladium's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.

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