Wells Fargo & Co Stock Buy Recommendation Reiterated (WFC)

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC) 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, impressive record of earnings per share growth, expanding profit margins, notable return on equity and compelling growth in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • 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.
  • WELLS FARGO & CO has improved earnings per share by 22.7% 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, WELLS FARGO & CO increased its bottom line by earning $3.36 versus $2.82 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($3.71 versus $3.36).
  • The gross profit margin for WELLS FARGO & CO is currently very high, coming in at 89.42%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Regardless of the strong results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 23.07% trails the industry average.
  • 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 Commercial Banks industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, WELLS FARGO & CO has outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500.
  • Regardless of the drop in revenue, the company managed to outperform against the industry average of 3.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 2.6%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.

Wells Fargo & Company provides retail, commercial, and corporate banking services. Wells Fargo has a market cap of $226.2 billion and is part of the financial sector and banking industry. Shares are up 23.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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

--Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff.

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