Will This Upgrade Help NXP Semiconductors (NXPI) Stock Today?

Tickers in this article: NXPI RJF

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- NXP Semiconductors NXPI shares were upgraded to "strong buy" from "outperform" by Raymond James RJF on Wednesday. 

The firm raised the company's price target to $68 from $54.

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NXP Semiconductors is up 1.7% to $59.22 in early trading Wednesday.

The firm believes that last Friday's market pullback on the stock makes it an even more attractive buy due to what it sees as an already low valuation.

"We think NXP Semiconductors will continue to see outsized, 20% growth from its identification business and we think the company has solid businesses in its other markets as well. Given Friday's (April 4) 6% pullback in shares, in addition to a valuation already below comparables, we think shares are compelling." Raymond James said.

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Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates NXP SEMICONDUCTORS NV as a Hold with a ratings score of C. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate NXP SEMICONDUCTORS NV (NXPI) 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, notable return on equity and impressive record of earnings per share growth. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the company has favored debt over equity in the management of its balance sheet."

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

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 5.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 15.9%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • NXP SEMICONDUCTORS NV 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. This trend suggests that the performance of the business is improving. During the past fiscal year, NXP SEMICONDUCTORS NV turned its bottom line around by earning $1.34 versus -$0.48 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($4.21 versus $1.34).
  • The gross profit margin for NXP SEMICONDUCTORS NV is rather high; currently it is at 55.92%. Regardless of NXPI's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, NXPI's net profit margin of 7.42% is significantly lower than the industry average.
  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 178.72% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 125.12% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. Looking ahead, however, we cannot assume that the stock's past performance is going to drive future results. Quite to the contrary, its sharp appreciation over the last year is one of the factors that should prompt investors to seek better opportunities elsewhere.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is very high at 2.55 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, NXPI's quick ratio is somewhat strong at 1.02, demonstrating the ability to handle short-term liquidity needs.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: NXPI Ratings Report
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