ConocoPhillips Stock Buy Recommendation Reiterated (COP)

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) has been reiterated by TheStreet Ratings as a buy with a ratings score of B- . Among the primary strengths of the company is its expanding profit margins over time. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
    • 38.90% is the gross profit margin for CONOCOPHILLIPS which we consider to be strong. Regardless of COP's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, COP's net profit margin of 16.20% compares favorably to the industry average.
    • CONOCOPHILLIPS's earnings per share declined by 14.8% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has suffered a declining pattern of earnings per share over the past year. However, we anticipate this trend reversing over the coming year. During the past fiscal year, CONOCOPHILLIPS reported lower earnings of $5.29 versus $7.61 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($5.42 versus $5.29).
    • COP, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 7.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 18.6%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
    • Looking at the price performance of COP's shares over the past 12 months, there is not much good news to report: the stock is down 26.10%, and it has underformed the S&P 500 Index. In addition, the company's earnings per share are lower today than the year-earlier quarter. Looking ahead, the stock's sharp decline over the past year may have been what was needed in order to bring its value into alignment with its fundamentals and others in its industry.
    • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 33.4% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $3,402.00 million to $2,267.00 million.

ConocoPhillips explores for, produces, transports, and markets crude oil, natural gas, natural gas liquids, liquefied natural gas and bitumen on a worldwide basis. The company has a P/E ratio of 6.3, above the average energy industry P/E ratio of 6and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. ConocoPhillips has a market cap of $68.79 billion and is part of the basic materials sector and energy industry. Shares are down 2.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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

--Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff.

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.
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