Will This Analyst Upgrade Help Heartland Payment Systems (HPY) Stock Today? (Update)

Update (9:45 a.m.): Updated with Monday market open information.

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stifel Nicolaus upgraded Heartland Payment Systems  (HPY) to "hold" from "sell." The firm believes the stock is attractive following a sharp sell-off.

The stock was up 5.12% to $39.41 at 9:44 a.m. on Monday.

Must Read: Warren Buffett's 10 Favorite Growth Stocks

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

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Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates HEARTLAND PAYMENT SYSTEMS as a Buy with a ratings score of A-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate HEARTLAND PAYMENT SYSTEMS (HPY) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, reasonable valuation levels and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 20.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 6.1%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • HEARTLAND PAYMENT SYSTEMS has improved earnings per share by 24.3% 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, HEARTLAND PAYMENT SYSTEMS increased its bottom line by earning $1.98 versus $1.61 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.39 versus $1.98).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the IT Services industry average, but is less than that of the S&P 500. The net income increased by 16.4% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $14.95 million to $17.41 million.
  • The stock has risen over the past year as investors have generally rewarded the company for its earnings growth and other positive factors like the ones we have cited in this report. 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.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: HPY Ratings Report

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

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.

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