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) -- Gold Fields (NYSE: GFI) has been downgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity, poor profit margins, generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself and feeble growth in its earnings per share.
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- 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 989.7% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $53.30 million to -$474.20 million.
- 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, GOLD FIELDS LTD's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
- The gross profit margin for GOLD FIELDS LTD is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 34.23%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of -60.74% is significantly below that of the industry average.
- Despite any intermediate fluctuations, we have only bad news to report on this stock's performance over the last year: it has tumbled by 63.27%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 1400.00% compared to the year-earlier quarter. Turning toward the future, the fact that the stock has come down in price over the past year should not necessarily be interpreted as a negative; it could be one of the factors that may help make the stock attractive down the road. Right now, however, we believe that it is too soon to buy.
- GOLD FIELDS LTD has experienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from the same quarter a year ago. The company has reported a trend of declining earnings per share over the past two years. However, the consensus estimate suggests that this trend should reverse in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, GOLD FIELDS LTD swung to a loss, reporting -$0.78 versus $0.44 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.27 versus -$0.78).