3 Stocks Reiterated As A Buy: MDLZ, MRK, OXY

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:

Mondelez International Inc:

Mondelez International (Nasdaq: MDLZ) has been reiterated by TheStreet Ratings as a buy with a ratings score of B-. According to TheStreet Ratings team: The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its compelling growth in net income, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and increase in stock price during the past year. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook.

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Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Food Products industry. The net income increased by 230.7% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $534.00 million to $1,766.00 million.
  • 39.09% is the gross profit margin for MONDELEZ INTERNATIONAL INC which we consider to be strong. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 18.61% is above that of the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 198.16% to $5,212.00 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, MONDELEZ INTERNATIONAL INC has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 51.00%.
  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.53, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels. Despite the fact that MDLZ's debt-to-equity ratio is low, the quick ratio, which is currently 0.56, displays a potential problem in covering short-term cash needs.
  • MONDELEZ INTERNATIONAL INC has experienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from 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, MONDELEZ INTERNATIONAL INC increased its bottom line by earning $1.29 versus $0.87 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.70 versus $1.29).

Mondelez International, Inc., through its subsidiaries, manufactures and markets snack food and beverage products worldwide. Mondelez International has a market cap of $58.1 billion and is part of the consumer goods sector and food & beverage industry. Shares are down 4.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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Merck & Co Inc:

Merck (NYSE: MRK) 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 largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, good cash flow from operations, solid stock price performance and expanding profit margins. 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 current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.50, 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 1.38, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 67.27% to $3,026.00 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, MERCK & CO has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 10.70%.
  • Compared to its closing price of one year ago, MRK's share price has jumped by 25.99%, exceeding the performance of the broader market during that same time frame. Looking ahead, the stock's sharp rise over the last year has already helped drive it to a level which is relatively expensive compared to the rest of its industry. We feel, however, that other strengths this company displays justify these higher price levels.
  • MERCK & CO's earnings per share declined by 13.3% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has suffered a declining pattern of earnings per share over the past two years. However, we anticipate this trend to reverse over the coming year. During the past fiscal year, MERCK & CO reported lower earnings of $1.46 versus $2.00 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($3.44 versus $1.46).
  • MRK, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 1.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 3.5%. The declining revenue appears to have seeped down to the company's bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.

Merck & Co., Inc. provides various health solutions through its prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, animal health, and consumer care products worldwide. Merck has a market cap of $160.7 billion and is part of the health care sector and drugs industry. Shares are up 7.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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Occidental Petroleum Corporation:

Occidental Petroleum Corporation (NYSE: OXY) has been reiterated by TheStreet Ratings as a buy with a ratings score of B+. 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, increase in stock price during the past year, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. 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:
  • OXY's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 7.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 0.0%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • OXY's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.16 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Along with the favorable debt-to-equity ratio, the company maintains an adequate quick ratio of 1.08, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • 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. 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.
  • The gross profit margin for OCCIDENTAL PETROLEUM CORP is rather high; currently it is at 57.52%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 26.62% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $3,141.00 million or 11.66% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of -23.37%.

Occidental Petroleum Corporation is engaged in the acquisition, exploration, and development of oil and gas properties in the United States and internationally. The company operates in three segments: Oil and Gas; Chemical; and Midstream, Marketing and Other. Occidental has a market cap of $74.8 billion and is part of the basic materials sector and energy industry. Shares are down 1.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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