St Jude Medical Inc. Stock Buy Recommendation Reiterated (STJ)

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) -- St Jude Medical (NYSE: STJ) 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 attractive valuation levels, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, good cash flow from operations, increase in stock price during the past year 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 ratings report include:
  • STJ's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.65 is somewhat low overall, but it is high when compared to the industry average, implying that the management of the debt levels should be evaluated further. Even though the debt-to-equity ratio shows mixed results, the company's quick ratio of 2.56 is very high and demonstrates very strong liquidity.
  • The stock price has risen over the past year, but, despite its earnings growth and some other positive factors, it has underperformed the S&P 500 so far. 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.
  • ST JUDE MEDICAL INC has improved earnings per share by 8.3% 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, ST JUDE MEDICAL INC reported lower earnings of $2.51 versus $2.75 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($3.43 versus $2.51).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the Health Care Equipment & Supplies industry average, but is less than that of the S&P 500. The net income increased by 1.3% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $240.89 million to $244.00 million.

St. Jude Medical, Inc. develops, manufactures, and distributes cardiovascular and implantable neurostimulation medical devices worldwide. It operates in four segments: Cardiac Rhythm Management, Cardiovascular, Atrial Fibrillation, and Neuromodulation. The company has a P/E ratio of 16.8, equal to the average health services industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. St Jude Medical has a market cap of $13.35 billion and is part of the health care sector and health services industry. Shares are up 23.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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

--Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff.

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