Bon-Ton Stores Inc Stock Downgraded (BONT)

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) -- Bon-Ton Stores (Nasdaq: BONT) has been downgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself and generally high debt management risk.

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Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • In its most recent trading session, BONT 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. Looking ahead, other than the push or pull of the broad market, we do not see anything in the company's numbers that may help reverse the decline experienced over the past 12 months. Despite the past decline, the stock is still selling for more than most others in its industry.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is very high at 20.31 and currently higher than the industry average, implying increased risk associated with the management of debt levels within the company. Along with this, the company manages to maintain a quick ratio of 0.09, which clearly demonstrates the inability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • Regardless of the drop in revenue, the company managed to outperform against the industry average of 9.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 2.4%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.
  • BON-TON STORES 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, BON-TON STORES INC reported poor results of -$1.50 versus -$1.00 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.00 versus -$1.50).
  • 38.05% is the gross profit margin for BON-TON STORES INC which we consider to be strong. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Regardless of the strong results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of -0.13% trails the industry average.

The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc., through its subsidiaries, operates department stores in the United States. Its stores offer brand-name fashion apparel and accessories for women, men, and children, as well as cosmetics, home furnishings, footwear, and other goods. Bon-Ton Stores has a market cap of $179.8 million and is part of the services sector and retail industry. Shares are down 36.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

You can view the full Bon-Ton Stores Ratings Report or get investment ideas from our investment research center.

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Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors, reporters and analysts from holding positions in any individual stocks.

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