Safeway Inc. Stock Buy Recommendation Reiterated (SWY)

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) -- Safeway (NYSE: SWY) 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 solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, increase in net income, attractive valuation levels and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated.

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Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 63.33% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 26.55% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, SWY should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
  • SAFEWAY INC reported significant earnings per share improvement 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, SAFEWAY INC increased its bottom line by earning $2.31 versus $1.53 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.35 versus $2.31).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Food & Staples Retailing industry. The net income increased by 63.1% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $72.90 million to $118.90 million.
  • SWY, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 3.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 0.1%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.

Safeway Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates as a food and drug retailer in North America. Safeway has a market cap of $6.1 billion and is part of the services sector and retail industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 10.00, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 18.00. Shares are up 38.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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

--Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff.

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