This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Merck, Provident: Ratings Changes

Stocks in this article: SEB PVX MRK Ratings provides exclusive stock, ETF and mutual fund ratings and commentary based on award-winning, proprietary tools. Its "safety first" approach to investing aims to reduce risk while seeking total return performance.

BOSTON ( TheStreet) --'s stock-rating model upgraded consumer lender EZCORP (EZPW) to "buy."

The numbers: Fiscal third-quarter net income jumped 33% to $14 million and earnings per share climbed 16% to 29 cents, restrained by a higher share count. Revenue rose 37% to $148 million. Its operating margin fell below 15% and its net margin dipped below 10%. EZCORP holds $47 million of cash reserves, amounting to a strong quick ratio of 3.5. And a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.1 indicates minimal leverage.

The stock: EZCORP has dropped 21% this year, lagging behind major U.S. indices. The stock trades at a cheap price-to-earnings ratio of 9, but the company doesn't pay dividends.

The model upgraded drug maker Merck (MRK) to "buy."

The numbers: Second-quarter net income fell 12% to $1.6 billion, or 74 cents a share, as revenue dropped 3% to $5.9 billion. Its operating margin increased from 26% to 28% and its net margin shrank from 29% to 26%. A quick ratio of 1.8 demonstrates ample liquidity and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.5 indicates conservative leverage. We give Merck a financial strength score of 8.9 out of 10, higher than the "buy"-list average.

The stock: Merck is up 2% this year, trailing behind major U.S. indices. The stock trades at a cheap price-to-earnings ratio of 12 and offers a 4.9% dividend yield, higher than the average of companies in the S&P 500 Index.

The model upgraded insurer Old Republic International (ORI) to "hold."

The numbers: In the second quarter, the company lost $16 million, or 7 cents, down from a loss of $365 million, or $1.58, in the year-earlier period. Revenue increased 80% to $913 million. Its operating and net margins remained in negative territory, but the company's financial position improved. Its cash balance has grown 63% to $1 billion since last June. And its debt-to-equity ratio is low at 0.1.

1 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 17,804.80 +26.65 0.15%
S&P 500 2,070.65 +9.42 0.46%
NASDAQ 4,765.38 +16.9840 0.36%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs