Editor's Note: 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. NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- ACE (NYSE: ACE) has been reiterated by TheStreet Ratings as a buy with a ratings score of A . The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, attractive valuation levels 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.
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- ACE's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.20 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels.
- Compared to where it was a year ago today, the stock is now trading at a higher level, regardless of the company's weak earnings results. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, it goes without saying that even the best stocks can fall in an overall down market. However, in any other environment, this stock still has good upside potential despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year.
- ACE LTD's earnings per share declined by 44.8% 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 two years. However, we anticipate this trend to reverse over the coming year. During the past fiscal year, ACE LTD reported lower earnings of $4.58 versus $9.09 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($7.80 versus $4.58).
- ACE, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 0.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 8.1%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
--Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff.FREE from Real Money's Jim Cramer: Winners and Losers Election 2012 - Steps to take NOW so you can profit no matter who is in charge! Free Download Now