NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Casella Waste Systems (CWST - Get Report) shares are down -0.4% to $5.28 in after-hours trading today following the release of the company's fourth quarter earnings results.

The waste and recycling firm reported revenue of $118.9 million, a 9.4% increase over the previous year, which beat analysts $112.5 million estimates.

The company also reported a net loss per common share of $11.8 million, or -30 cents per diluted share, well below analysts estimates of an -18 cent per share loss.

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TheStreet Ratings team rates CASELLA WASTE SYS INC as a Sell with a ratings score of D+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate CASELLA WASTE SYS INC (CWST) a SELL. This is driven by some concerns, which we believe should have a greater impact than any strengths, and could make it more difficult for investors to achieve positive results compared to most of the stocks we cover. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its generally high debt management risk, disappointing return on equity and poor profit margins."

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

  • The debt-to-equity ratio is very high at 187.73 and currently higher than the industry average, implying increased risk associated with the management of debt levels within the company. To add to this, CWST has a quick ratio of 0.63, this demonstrates the lack of ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • Return on equity has greatly decreased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of major weakness within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Commercial Services & Supplies industry and the overall market, CASELLA WASTE SYS INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for CASELLA WASTE SYS INC is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 28.41%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of -9.12% is significantly below that of the industry average.
  • The company, on the basis of net income growth from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Commercial Services & Supplies industry. The net income increased by 5.8% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from -$11.41 million to -$10.75 million.
  • CASELLA WASTE SYS INC's earnings per share improvement from the most recent quarter was slightly positive. 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, CASELLA WASTE SYS INC continued to lose money by earning -$1.50 versus -$2.90 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings (-$0.43 versus -$1.50).