Lowe's Companies Inc.'s Buy Recommendation Supported

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Lowe's Companies (NYSE: LOW) 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, impressive record of earnings per share growth, increase in net income, notable return on equity and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • LOW's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 7.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 7.3%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • LOWE'S COMPANIES INC has improved earnings per share by 34.3% 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, LOWE'S COMPANIES INC increased its bottom line by earning $1.68 versus $1.42 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.17 versus $1.68).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500, but is less than that of the Specialty Retail industry average. The net income increased by 26.1% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $395.00 million to $498.00 million.
  • 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 Specialty Retail industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, LOWE'S COMPANIES INC has underperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has exceeded that of the S&P 500.
  • Compared to where it was a year ago today, the stock is now trading at a higher level, reflecting both the market's overall trend during that period and the fact that the company's earnings growth has been robust. The stock's price rise over the last year has driven it to a level which is somewhat expensive compared to the rest of its industry. We feel, however, that other strengths this company displays justify these higher price levels.

Lowe's Companies, Inc. operates as a home improvement retailer. It offers products for maintenance, repair, remodeling, and home decorating. Lowe's Companies has a market cap of $47.6 billion and is part of the services sector and retail industry. Shares are down 6% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

You can view the full Lowe's Companies Ratings Report or get investment ideas from our investment research center.

--Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff.

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