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) -- Prudential Financial (NYSE: PRU) has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its reasonable valuation levels, good cash flow from operations, 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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- Net operating cash flow has slightly increased to $5,713.00 million or 1.16% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow, PRUDENTIAL FINANCIAL INC's average is still marginally south of the industry average growth rate of 10.86%.
- The revenue fell significantly faster than the industry average of 21.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 12.1%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
- PRU's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.90 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.
- In its most recent trading session, PRU has closed at a price level that was not very different from its closing price of one year earlier. This is probably due to its weak earnings growth as well as other mixed factors. 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.
-- Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff