Harte-Hanks Inc Stock Downgraded (HHS)

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) -- Harte-Hanks (NYSE: HHS) 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, reasonable valuation levels and increase in stock price during the past year. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including unimpressive growth in net income, disappointing return on equity and poor profit margins.

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Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • HHS's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.28 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Along with the favorable debt-to-equity ratio, the company maintains an adequate quick ratio of 1.48, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • HHS, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 4.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 3.6%. The declining revenue appears to have seeped down to the company's bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • The gross profit margin for HARTE HANKS INC is rather low; currently it is at 21.77%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 4.31% trails that of the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $24.83 million or 29.78% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing the cash generation rate to the industry average, the firm's growth is significantly lower.

Harte-Hanks, Inc. provides various marketing services in the United States and internationally. It offers integrated, multichannel, data-driven solutions for various brands. The company has a P/E ratio of 22, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Harte-Hanks has a market cap of $503.5 million and is part of the services sector and media industry. Shares are up 1.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

You can view the full Harte-Hanks 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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