Automatic Data Processing (NYSE: ADP) is rated at BUY with a grade of A. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, increase in stock price during the past year, increase in net income, growth in earnings per share 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.
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Highlights from the ratings report include:
- 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'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).
- 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.
- The stock has risen over the past year as investors have generally rewarded the company for its earnings growth and other positive factors like the ones we have cited in this report. 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.
Automatic Data Processing, Inc. provides business outsourcing solutions. The company operates in three segments: Employer Services, Professional Employer Organization (PEO) Services, and Dealer Services.You can view the full Automatic Data Processing Ratings Report or get investment ideas from our investment research center.