3 Stocks Reiterated As A Buy: PCLN, UNH, QCOM

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) -- TheStreet Ratings team reiterated 3 stocks with a buy rating on Tuesday based on 32 different data factors including general market action, fundamental analysis and technical indicators. The in-depth analysis of these ratings decisions goes as follows:

priceline.com Incorporated:

priceline.com Incorporated (Nasdaq: PCLN) has been reiterated by TheStreet Ratings as a buy with a ratings score of A. According to TheStreet Ratings team: The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth and expanding profit margins. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results.

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Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 8.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 29.4%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • PCLN's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.27 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Along with this, the company maintains a quick ratio of 5.28, which clearly demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 26.82% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 87.96% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, PCLN should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
  • PRICELINE.COM INC has improved earnings per share by 26.8% 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, PRICELINE.COM INC increased its bottom line by earning $36.01 versus $27.71 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($51.52 versus $36.01).
  • The gross profit margin for PRICELINE.COM INC is currently very high, coming in at 86.10%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 24.53% significantly outperformed against the industry average.

priceline.com Incorporated operates as an online travel company. Priceline.com has a market cap of $66.2 billion and is part of the services sector and diversified services industry. Shares are up 5.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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UnitedHealth Group Inc:

UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) has been reiterated by TheStreet Ratings as a buy with a ratings score of A-. According to TheStreet Ratings team: The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share, increase in net income, revenue growth and attractive valuation levels. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

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Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Investors have apparently begun to recognize positive factors similar to those we have mentioned in this report, including earnings growth. This has helped drive up the company's shares by a sharp 48.56% over the past year, a rise that has exceeded that of the S&P 500 Index. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, UNH should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
  • UNITEDHEALTH GROUP INC has improved earnings per share by 17.5% 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, UNITEDHEALTH GROUP INC increased its bottom line by earning $5.50 versus $5.28 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($5.60 versus $5.50).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the Health Care Providers & Services industry average, but is less than that of the S&P 500. The net income increased by 14.7% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $1,244.00 million to $1,427.00 million.
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 10.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 8.2%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.

UnitedHealth Group Incorporated operates as a diversified health and well-being company in the United States. UnitedHealth Group has a market cap of $80.5 billion and is part of the health care sector and health services industry. Shares are up 7.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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Qualcomm Inc.:

Qualcomm (Nasdaq: QCOM) has been reiterated by TheStreet Ratings as a buy with a ratings score of A. According to TheStreet Ratings team: The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity, good cash flow from operations and increase in stock price during the past year. 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:
  • QCOM's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 1.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 10.0%. 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.
  • QCOM's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.00 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Along with this, the company maintains a quick ratio of 3.50, which clearly demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • 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 Communications Equipment industry and the overall market, QUALCOMM INC's return on equity exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $2,781.00 million or 40.81% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of 20.08%.
  • 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.

QUALCOMM Incorporated designs, develops, manufactures, and markets digital communications products and services based on code division multiple access (CDMA), orthogonal frequency division multiple access (OFDMA), and other technologies. Qualcomm has a market cap of $132.2 billion and is part of the technology sector and telecommunications industry. Shares are up 4.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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