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How TheStreet Rates These Big-Name 2013 Stocks

Stocks in this article: FB AAPL GOOG TSLA

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Before we ring in 2014, TheStreet Ratings team reiterates its ratings for some of the biggest names in 2013: Tesla (TSLA), Apple (AAPL), Google (GOOG) and Facebook (FB).

Tesla, though plagued with safety concerns in the final months of 2013, has enjoyed the status as one of the market's high-momentum stock plays. Over the year, the automaker soared 342.4% to end at $149.79. TSLA Chart TSLA data by YCharts

Despite its gains, TheStreet Ratings team rates TESLA MOTORS INC as a Sell with a ratings score of D. The team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate TESLA MOTORS INC (TSLA) a SELL. This is driven by a number of negative factors, which we believe should have a greater impact than any strengths, and could make it more difficult for investors to achieve positive results compared to most of the stocks we cover. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its generally high debt management risk and poor profit margins."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The debt-to-equity ratio of 1.20 is relatively high when compared with the industry average, suggesting a need for better debt level management. Along with the unfavorable debt-to-equity ratio, TSLA maintains a poor quick ratio of 0.72, which illustrates the inability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • The gross profit margin for TESLA MOTORS INC is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 30.44%. Despite the low profit margin, it has increased significantly from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, TSLA's net profit margin of -8.92% significantly underperformed when compared to the industry average.
  • Compared to other companies in the Automobiles industry and the overall market, TESLA MOTORS INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • TESLA MOTORS INC reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, TESLA MOTORS INC reported poor results of -$3.70 versus -$2.52 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.57 versus -$3.70).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Automobiles industry. The net income increased by 65.3% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$110.81 million to -$38.50 million.

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