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NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- General Growth Properties (NYSE: GGP) has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its compelling growth in net income, revenue growth, good cash flow from operations, increase in stock price during the past year and impressive record of earnings per share growth. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook.

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Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • 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 139.4% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $32.24 million to $77.20 million.
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 6.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 1.7%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $283.32 million or 41.76% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of 9.61%.
  • Compared to where it was 12 months ago, the stock is up, but it has so far lagged the appreciation in the S&P 500. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, it goes without saying that even the best stocks can fall in an overall down market. However, in any other environment, this stock still has good upside potential despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year.
  • GENERAL GROWTH PPTYS 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 two years. However, we anticipate underperformance relative to this pattern in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, GENERAL GROWTH PPTYS INC turned its bottom line around by earning $0.28 versus -$0.51 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 19.6% in earnings ($0.23 versus $0.28).

General Growth Properties, Inc is an equity real estate investment trust. The firm invests in the real estate markets of the United States. It engages in owning, managing, leasing, and redeveloping high-quality regional malls. General Growth has a market cap of $19.62 billion and is part of the financial sector and real estate industry. Shares are up 10.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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

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