FairPoint Communications Inc. Stock Upgraded (FRP)

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) -- FairPoint Communications (Nasdaq: FRP) has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from sell to hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that we feel that the company's cash flow from its operations has been weak overall.

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Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 118.54% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 63.51% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. Regarding the stock's future course, our hold rating indicates that we do not recommend additional investment in this stock despite its gains in the past year.
  • FAIRPOINT COMMUNICATIONS INC reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past year. We feel that this trend should continue. This trend suggests that the performance of the business is improving. During the past fiscal year, FAIRPOINT COMMUNICATIONS INC continued to lose money by earning -$3.95 versus -$5.91 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings (-$2.94 versus -$3.95).
  • FRP, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 0.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 2.6%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.
  • The company, on the basis of net income growth from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed compared to the Diversified Telecommunication Services industry average, but is greater than that of the S&P 500. The net income increased by 119.0% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$32.18 million to $6.10 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $56.50 million or 10.26% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing the cash generation rate to the industry average, the firm's growth is significantly lower.

FairPoint Communications, Inc. provides communications services primarily in rural communities and small urban markets in northern New England. FairPoint has a market cap of $363.7 million and is part of the technology sector and telecommunications industry. Shares are up 21.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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

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