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) -- Orion Marine Group (NYSE: ORN) has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, impressive record of earnings per share growth, good cash flow from operations and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.
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- ORN's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 3.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 7.9%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
- ORN's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.04 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. To add to this, ORN has a quick ratio of 1.55, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
- ORION MARINE GROUP 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. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, ORION MARINE GROUP INC turned its bottom line around by earning $0.02 versus -$0.44 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.20 versus $0.02).
- Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 478.85% to $10.89 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, ORION MARINE GROUP INC has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 16.78%.
- Looking at where the stock is today compared to one year ago, we find that it is not only higher, but it has also clearly outperformed the rise in the S&P 500 over the same period. Although other factors naturally played a role, the company's strong earnings growth was key. The stock's price rise over the last year has driven it to a level which is somewhat expensive compared to the rest of its industry. We feel, however, that other strengths this company displays justify these higher price levels.