Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) has been reiterated by TheStreet Ratings as a buy with a ratings score of A+ . 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, expanding profit margins, notable return on equity and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.
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- ABT's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 5.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 2.0%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
- The debt-to-equity ratio is somewhat low, currently at 0.74, and is less than that of the industry average, implying that there has been a relatively successful effort in the 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 ABBOTT LABORATORIES is currently very high, coming in at 70.40%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 17.60% is above that of the industry average.
- The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Pharmaceuticals industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, ABBOTT LABORATORIES has underperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has exceeded that of the S&P 500.
- Compared to its closing price of one year ago, ABT's share price has jumped by 35.39%, exceeding the performance of the broader market during that same time frame. Looking ahead, the stock's sharp rise over the last year has already helped drive it to a level which is relatively expensive compared to the rest of its industry. We feel, however, that other strengths this company displays justify these higher price levels.
--Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff.FREE from Real Money's Jim Cramer: Winners and Losers Election 2012 - Steps to take NOW so you can profit no matter who is in charge! Free Download Now
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