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) -- Schlumberger (NYSE: SLB) has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its impressive record of earnings per share growth, revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, good cash flow from operations and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.
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- Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 8.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 7.4%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
- The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.33, 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 1.47, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
- SCHLUMBERGER LTD has improved earnings per share by 28.6% 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, SCHLUMBERGER LTD increased its bottom line by earning $5.11 versus $3.91 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($5.70 versus $5.11).
- Net operating cash flow has increased to $3,850.00 million or 21.22% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, SCHLUMBERGER LTD has also modestly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 14.86%.
- Compared to where it was 12 months ago, the stock is up, but it has so far lagged the appreciation in the S&P 500. Looking ahead, unless broad bear market conditions prevail, we still see more upside potential for this stock, despite the fact that it has already risen over the past year.