NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Valero Energy Corporation (VLO - Get Report) are up 0.91% to $58.79 in pre-market trading on Tuesday after a ratings upgrade to "outperform" from "perform" at Oppenheimer.
The firm said it changed its rating for the independent petroleum refining and marketing company as Valero Energy is using buybacks and dividends to return more cash to investors.
TheStreet Ratings team rates VALERO ENERGY CORP as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:
"We rate VALERO ENERGY CORP (VLO) a BUY. 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, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, attractive valuation levels, solid stock price performance and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity."
Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:
- VLO's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 0.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 0.6%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
- The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.33, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels.
- Powered by its strong earnings growth of 30.50% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 48.81% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, VLO should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
- VALERO ENERGY CORP has improved earnings per share by 30.5% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. 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, VALERO ENERGY CORP increased its bottom line by earning $4.98 versus $3.75 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($6.36 versus $4.98).
- The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry average, but is less than that of the S&P 500. The net income increased by 26.6% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $654.00 million to $828.00 million.
- You can view the full analysis from the report here: VLO Ratings Report