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TheStreet Ratings Top 10 Rating Changes

Rating Change #1

Total SA (TOT) has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its attractive valuation levels, increase in stock price during the past year and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • Compared to where it was 12 months ago, the stock is up, but it has so far lagged the appreciation in the S&P 500. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, it goes without saying that even the best stocks can fall in an overall down market. However, in any other environment, this stock still has good upside potential despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year.
  • TOT, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 0.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 11.3%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • Despite currently having a low debt-to-equity ratio of 0.47, it is higher than that of the industry average, inferring that management of debt levels may need to be evaluated further. Regardless of the somewhat mixed results with the debt-to-equity ratio, the company's quick ratio of 0.75 is weak.
  • TOTAL SA has exprienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. We feel it is likely to report a decline in earnings in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, TOTAL SA increased its bottom line by earning $7.05 versus $6.27 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 6.5% in earnings ($6.60 versus $7.05).

TOTAL S.A., together with its subsidiaries, operates as an integrated oil and gas company worldwide. The company operates in three segments: Upstream, Downstream, and Chemicals. The company has a P/E ratio of 7.2, below the average energy industry P/E ratio of 8.1 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Total has a market cap of $111.53 billion and is part of the basic materials sector and energy industry. Shares are down 2.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

You can view the full Total Ratings Report or get investment ideas from our investment research center.

-- Reported by Kevin Baker in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.



For additional Investment Research check out our Ratings Research Center.

For all other upgrades and downgrades made by TheStreet Ratings Model today check out our upgrades and downgrades list.

Kevin Baker became the senior financial analyst for TheStreet Ratings upon the August 2006 acquisition of Weiss Ratings by TheStreet.com, covering equity and mutual fund ratings. He joined the Weiss Group in 1997 as a banking and brokerage analyst. In 1999, he created the Weiss Group's first ratings to gauge the level of risk in U.S. equities. Baker received a B.S. degree in management from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and an M.B.A. with a finance specialization from Nova Southeastern University.
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