United Breweries Company Inc. Stock Downgraded (CCU)

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) -- United Breweries Company (NYSE: CCU) has been downgraded by TheStreet Ratings from buy to hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including feeble growth in the company's earnings per share, deteriorating net income and disappointing return on equity.

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Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • CCU's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.27 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels.
  • The gross profit margin for COMPANIA CERVECERIAS UNIDAS is rather high; currently it is at 62.47%. Regardless of CCU's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 12.74% trails the industry average.
  • CCU, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 4.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 5.1%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Beverages industry. The net income has decreased by 11.5% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, dropping from $92.36 million to $81.77 million.
  • 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. When compared to other companies in the Beverages industry and the overall market, COMPANIA CERVECERIAS UNIDAS's return on equity is below that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.

Compa ia Cervecerias Unidas S.A., through its subsidiaries, produces, bottles, sells, and distributes beverages primarily in Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay. United Breweries has a market cap of $3.59 billion and is part of the consumer goods sector and food & beverage industry. Shares are down 7.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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

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Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors, reporters and analysts from holding positions in any individual stocks.

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