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) -- Merck (NYSE: MRK) 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 largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, good cash flow from operations, increase in stock price during the past year and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.
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- The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.39, 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 1.28, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
- Net operating cash flow has slightly increased to $2,341.00 million or 8.68% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of -17.04%.
- Compared to where it was a year ago today, the stock is now trading at a higher level, regardless of the company's weak earnings results. 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.
- The gross profit margin for MERCK & CO is currently very high, coming in at 78.40%. Regardless of MRK's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 14.92% trails the industry average.
- MRK, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 7.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 9.0%. The declining revenue appears to have seeped down to the company's bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
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