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) -- Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE: XOM) 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, increase in stock price during the past year, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.
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- 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. 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.
- XOM's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.07 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Although the company had a strong debt-to-equity ratio, its quick ratio of 0.71 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. In comparison to other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, EXXON MOBIL CORP has underperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has greatly exceeded that of the S&P 500.
- EXXON MOBIL 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. We feel it is likely to report a decline in earnings in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, EXXON MOBIL CORP increased its bottom line by earning $8.42 versus $6.22 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 7.0% in earnings ($7.83 versus $8.42).
--Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff.HOLIDAY SPECIAL: Let Jim Cramer show you every trade he is making in his $2.5 Million portfolio. Join now for 14-days FREE. Sign up today to get e-mail alerts before every trade