This has to be an almost as epic call as Dick Bove's upgrade of Lehman days before its bankruptcy.
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Focus Media (Nasdaq:FMCN) has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.
Highlights from the ratings report include:
- FMCN's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 19.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 53.4%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
- FMCN's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.02 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Along with this, the company maintains a quick ratio of 3.87, which clearly demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
- Compared to where it was a year ago today, the stock is now trading at a higher level, reflecting both the market's overall trend during that period and the fact that the company's earnings growth has been robust. Looking ahead, unless broad bear market conditions prevail, we still see more upside potential for this stock, despite the fact that it has already risen over the past year.
- FOCUS MEDIA HOLDING LTD 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 two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, FOCUS MEDIA HOLDING LTD turned its bottom line around by earning $0.71 versus -$0.78 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.71 versus $0.71).
- The gross profit margin for FOCUS MEDIA HOLDING LTD is rather high; currently it is at 69.70%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 29.50% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
Focus Media Holding Limited, a multi-platform digital media company, operates liquid crystal display (LCD) network using audiovisual digital displays in China. The company has a P/E ratio of 25.3, above the average media industry P/E ratio of 12.2 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Focus Media has a market cap of $3.5 billion and is part of the services sector and media industry. Shares are up 15.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.