Noble Energy Inc Stock Buy Recommendation Reiterated (NBL)

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) -- Noble Energy (NYSE: NBL) 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, solid stock price performance, expanding profit margins, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

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Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 8.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 4.4%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
  • Compared to its closing price of one year ago, NBL's share price has jumped by 40.56%, exceeding the performance of the broader market during that same time frame. Turning to the future, naturally, any stock can fall in a major bear market. However, in almost any other environment, the stock should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed nice gains in the past year.
  • The gross profit margin for NOBLE ENERGY INC is currently very high, coming in at 82.10%. Regardless of NBL's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, NBL's net profit margin of 24.09% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • NOBLE ENERGY INC's earnings per share declined by 7.9% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, NOBLE ENERGY INC increased its bottom line by earning $5.33 versus $2.19 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($6.85 versus $5.33).
  • Despite currently having a low debt-to-equity ratio of 0.48, it is higher than that of the industry average, inferring that management of debt levels may need to be evaluated further. Regardless of the somewhat mixed results with the debt-to-equity ratio, the company's quick ratio of 0.88 is weak.

Noble Energy, Inc., an independent energy company, engages in the acquisition, exploration, development, production, and marketing of crude oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids primarily in the United States, West Africa, and Eastern Mediterranean. Noble Energy has a market cap of $21.4 billion and is part of the basic materials sector and energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 23.00, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 18.00. Shares are up 16.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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

--Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff.

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