How Will This Upgrade Affect Alcatel-Lucent (ALU) Stock Today?

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Alcatel-Lucent (ALU) shares were upgraded to "neutral" from "underweight" by analysts at HSBC (HSBC) while setting a price target of $4.20 on the shares.

The price target represents a 6.5% increase from the company's closing price yesterday.

Alcatel-Lucent shares are down -0.25% in pre-market trading on Tuesday.

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TheStreet Ratings team rates ALCATEL-LUCENT as a Hold with a ratings score of C-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate ALCATEL-LUCENT (ALU) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed - some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth and compelling growth in net income. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including generally higher debt management risk and weak operating cash flow."

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

  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 105.37% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 136.90% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. Regarding the stock's future course, our hold rating indicates that we do not recommend additional investment in this stock despite its gains in the past year.
  • ALCATEL-LUCENT 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 year. We feel that this trend should continue. This trend suggests that the performance of the business is improving. During the past fiscal year, ALCATEL-LUCENT continued to lose money by earning -$0.80 versus -$1.56 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.07 versus -$0.80).
  • Regardless of the drop in revenue, the company managed to outperform against the industry average of 2.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 1.2%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.
  • Net operating cash flow has declined marginally to $670.46 million or 1.08% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite a decrease in cash flow of 1.08%, ALCATEL-LUCENT is in line with the industry average cash flow growth rate of -10.66%.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is very high at 2.10 and currently higher than the industry average, implying increased risk associated with the management of debt levels within the company. Even though the debt-to-equity ratio is weak, ALU's quick ratio is somewhat strong at 1.07, demonstrating the ability to handle short-term liquidity needs.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: ALU Ratings Report
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