Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link. NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Realty Income Corporation (NYSE: O) has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, compelling growth in net income and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.
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- O's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 7.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 65.7%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displaying stagnant earnings per share.
- The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry. The net income increased by 64.9% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $39.02 million to $64.34 million.
- 46.77% is the gross profit margin for REALTY INCOME CORP which we consider to be strong. Regardless of O's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, O's net profit margin of 29.82% compares favorably to the industry average.
- REALTY INCOME CORP reported flat earnings per share in the most recent quarter. 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, REALTY INCOME CORP reported lower earnings of $0.72 versus $0.75 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.89 versus $0.72).
- O has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 6.90% 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.