Will This Upgrade Help Family Dollar Stores (FDO) Stock Today?

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Family Dollar Stores (FDO) has been upgraded to "neutral" from "underperform," Sterne Agee said Wednesday. The firm said the revision was a valuation call based on a $55 price target. 

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Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates FAMILY DOLLAR STORES as a Buy with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate FAMILY DOLLAR STORES (FDO) a BUY. This is driven by some important positives, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, reasonable valuation levels and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself."

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

  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.50, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels. Even though the company has a strong debt-to-equity ratio, the quick ratio of 0.17 is very weak and demonstrates a lack of ability to pay short-term obligations.
  • Regardless of the drop in revenue, the company managed to outperform against the industry average of 10.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 6.1%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • Current return on equity is lower than its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of weakness within the company. Compared to other companies in the Multiline Retail industry and the overall market, FAMILY DOLLAR STORES's return on equity exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • FAMILY DOLLAR STORES's earnings per share declined by 33.9% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. We feel it is likely to report a decline in earnings in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, FAMILY DOLLAR STORES increased its bottom line by earning $3.83 versus $3.58 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 12.5% in earnings ($3.35 versus $3.83).
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