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Automatic Data Processing Stock Buy Recommendation Reiterated (ADP)

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) -- Automatic Data Processing (Nasdaq:ADP) 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, increase in net income, growth in earnings per share, 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 shows weak operating cash flow.

  • EXCLUSIVE OFFER: Jim Cramer's Protégé, Dave Peltier, only buys Stocks Under $10 that he thinks could potentially double. See what he's trading today with a 14-day FREE pass

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 10.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 5.0%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the IT Services industry average. The net income increased by 0.8% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $302.70 million to $305.30 million.
  • AUTOMATIC DATA PROCESSING's earnings per share improvement from the most recent quarter was slightly positive. 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, AUTOMATIC DATA PROCESSING increased its bottom line by earning $2.82 versus $2.51 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.91 versus $2.82).
  • After a year of stock price fluctuations, the net result is that ADP's price has not changed very much. Although its weak earnings growth may have played a role in this flat result, don't lose sight of the fact that the performance of the overall market, as measured by the S&P 500 Index, was essentially similar. 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.
  • ADP's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.07 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Even though the company has a strong debt-to-equity ratio, the quick ratio of 0.12 is very weak and demonstrates a lack of ability to pay short-term obligations.

Automatic Data Processing, Inc. provides business outsourcing solutions. The company operates in three segments: Employer Services, Professional Employer Organization (PEO) Services, and Dealer Services. Automatic Data Processing has a market cap of $26.59 billion and is part of the technology sector and computer software & services industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 19.4, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 1.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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

--Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff.

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