NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of EMC  (EMC)  hit a 52-week high of $30.16 in morning trading Monday after the Wall Street Journal reported the data-storage company was considering options that include a merger deal.

EMC has been under pressure from hedge fund ElliottManagement, as theactivist investor has tried to convince EMC to break up in order to boost its stock. EMC is also dealing with the expected retirement of its longtime CEO Joe Tucci, who has suggested he would step down by early 2015. No successor has been named.

EMC discussed a merger with Hewlett-Packard(HPQ) - Get Report for nearly a year but those talks recently ended, according to the Journal. EMC has also spoken with Dell, which could purchase assets such as EMC's core storage business rather than attempt a complete takeover of the data storage company.

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Other possible merger partners include Cisco Systems (CSCO) - Get Report and Oracle (ORCL) - Get Report , the Journal reports.

The stock was up 1.12% to $29.86 at 11:05 a.m. 

Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates EMC CORP/MA as a "buy" with a ratings score of A. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate EMC CORP/MA (EMC) 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, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income."

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

  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 9.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 4.7%. 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.
  • Although EMC's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.25 is very low, it is currently higher than that of the industry average. Along with the favorable debt-to-equity ratio, the company maintains an adequate quick ratio of 1.12, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • The gross profit margin for EMC CORP/MA is rather high; currently it is at 69.98%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Despite the strong results of the gross profit margin, EMC's net profit margin of 10.00% significantly trails the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has slightly increased to $1,254.00 million or 2.10% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow, EMC CORP/MA's cash flow growth rate is still lower than the industry average growth rate of 35.60%.
  • EMC CORP/MA's earnings per share declined by 12.5% 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, EMC CORP/MA increased its bottom line by earning $1.33 versus $1.23 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.91 versus $1.33).
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: EMC Ratings Report

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