Dow Chemical Co Stock Buy Recommendation Reiterated (DOW)

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) -- Dow Chemical (NYSE: DOW) 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 largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures 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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Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • DOW, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 2.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 9.7%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • DOW's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.86 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. Regardless of the somewhat mixed results with the debt-to-equity ratio, the company's quick ratio of 1.08 is sturdy.
  • Compared to where it was 12 months ago, the stock is up, but it has so far lagged the appreciation in the S&P 500. The stock's price rise over the last year has driven it to a level which is somewhat expensive compared to the rest of its industry. We feel, however, that other strengths this company displays justify these higher price levels.
  • DOW CHEMICAL's earnings per share declined by 39.1% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. We feel it is likely to report a decline in earnings in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, DOW CHEMICAL increased its bottom line by earning $2.05 versus $1.73 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 7.0% in earnings ($1.91 versus $2.05).
  • The gross profit margin for DOW CHEMICAL is rather low; currently it is at 20.50%. Regardless of DOW's low profit margin, it has managed to increase from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 4.26% trails the industry average.

The Dow Chemical Company manufactures and supplies chemical products used as raw materials in the manufacture of customer products and services worldwide. Dow Chemical has a market cap of $37.36 billion and is part of the basic materials sector and chemicals industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 24.1, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 7.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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

--Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff.

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