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) -- Eaton (NYSE: ETN) has been reiterated by TheStreet Ratings as a buy with a ratings score of B . 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, notable return on equity and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.
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- EATON CORP' earnings per share from the most recent quarter came in slightly below the year earlier quarter. 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, EATON CORP increased its bottom line by earning $3.94 versus $2.72 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($4.15 versus $3.94).
- 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.
- The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.50, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels. Although the company had a strong debt-to-equity ratio, its quick ratio of 1.00 is somewhat weak and could be cause for future problems.
- The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Machinery industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, EATON CORP has underperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has exceeded that of the S&P 500.
--Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff.Holiday Special: Subscribe to Action Alerts PLUS to see how Jim Cramer trades his $2.5 Million+ portfolio for 51% off the list price. Your first 14-days are FREE: Sign up today to get e-mail alerts before every trade