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) -- Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE: WMT) 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 solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share, revenue growth, notable return on equity and increase in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.
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- The stock has not only risen over the past year, it has done so at a faster pace than the S&P 500, reflecting the earnings growth and other positive factors similar to those we have cited here. 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.
- WAL-MART STORES INC has improved earnings per share by 10.6% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, WAL-MART STORES INC increased its bottom line by earning $5.02 versus $4.55 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($5.35 versus $5.02).
- Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 4.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 3.9%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
- 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 Food & Staples Retailing industry and the overall market, WAL-MART STORES INC's return on equity exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
- The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500, but is less than that of the Food & Staples Retailing industry average. The net income increased by 8.6% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $5,163.00 million to $5,606.00 million.
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