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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Lawson Products  (LAWS - Get Report) has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from Sell to Hold with a ratings score of C-.  TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate LAWSON PRODUCTS (LAWS) 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 revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and solid stock price performance. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and weak operating cash flow."

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

  • LAWS's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 7.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 8.6%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • LAWS's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.15 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 1.04, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • The gross profit margin for LAWSON PRODUCTS is rather high; currently it is at 62.99%. Regardless of LAWS'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 0.62% trails the industry average.
  • 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 Trading Companies & Distributors industry. The net income has decreased by 23.5% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, dropping from $0.60 million to $0.46 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. Compared to other companies in the Trading Companies & Distributors industry and the overall market, LAWSON PRODUCTS's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: LAWS Ratings Report

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