Estee Lauder Cos Inc Stock Buy Recommendation Reiterated (EL)

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) -- Estee Lauder Cos (NYSE: EL) 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 revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, expanding profit margins, growth in earnings per share and increase in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company is trading at a premium valuation based on our review of its current price compared to such things as earnings and book value.

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Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 9.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 7.1%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.44, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels. Along with the favorable debt-to-equity ratio, the company maintains an adequate quick ratio of 1.39, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • LAUDER (ESTEE) COS INC has improved earnings per share by 13.0% 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, LAUDER (ESTEE) COS INC increased its bottom line by earning $2.16 versus $1.74 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.60 versus $2.16).
  • The gross profit margin for LAUDER (ESTEE) COS INC is currently very high, coming in at 83.40%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 15.25% is above that of the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $780.30 million or 20.71% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow, LAUDER (ESTEE) COS INC's average is still marginally south of the industry average growth rate of 22.89%.

The Estee Lauder Companies Inc. engages in the manufacture, marketing, and sale of skin care, makeup, fragrance, and hair care products worldwide. Estee Lauder Cos has a market cap of $16.5 billion and is part of the consumer goods sector and consumer non-durables industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 30.00, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 18.00. Shares are up 16.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday.

You can view the full Estee Lauder Cos Ratings Report or get investment ideas from our investment research center.

--Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff.

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