3 Stocks Reiterated As A Hold: HPQ, FCX, FSLR

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 hold rating on Monday 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:

Hewlett-Packard Co:

Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ) has been reiterated by TheStreet Ratings as a hold with a ratings score of C+. According to TheStreet Ratings team: The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth and attractive valuation levels. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the company's profit margins have been poor overall.

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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 46.95% over the past year, a rise that has exceeded that of the S&P 500 Index. Regarding the stock's future course, our hold rating indicates that we do not recommend additional investment in this stock despite its gains in the past year.
  • HEWLETT-PACKARD CO 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 year. We feel that this trend should continue. This trend suggests that the performance of the business is improving. During the past fiscal year, HEWLETT-PACKARD CO turned its bottom line around by earning $2.62 versus -$6.45 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($3.71 versus $2.62).
  • The company's current return on equity greatly increased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of significant strength within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Computers & Peripherals industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, HEWLETT-PACKARD CO has underperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has exceeded that of the S&P 500.
  • HPQ's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.89 is somewhat low overall, but it is high when compared to the industry average, implying that the management of the debt levels should be evaluated further. Regardless of the somewhat mixed results with the debt-to-equity ratio, the company's quick ratio of 0.75 is weak.
  • The gross profit margin for HEWLETT-PACKARD CO is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 25.76%. Regardless of HPQ's low profit margin, it has managed to increase from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, HPQ's net profit margin of 5.06% is significantly lower than the industry average.

Hewlett-Packard Company, together with its subsidiaries, provides products, technologies, software, solutions, and services to individual consumers, small-and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), and large enterprises, including customers in the government, health, and education sectors worldwide. Hewlett-Packard has a market cap of $62.2 billion and is part of the technology sector and computer hardware industry. Shares are up 16% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold:

Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold (NYSE: FCX) has been reiterated by TheStreet Ratings as a hold with a ratings score of C. According to TheStreet Ratings team: The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, attractive valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself.

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Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 7.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 30.4%. 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.
  • The gross profit margin for FREEPORT-MCMORAN COP&GOLD is rather high; currently it is at 50.50%. It has increased significantly from the same period last year. Regardless of the strong results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 12.01% trails the industry average.
  • In its most recent trading session, FCX has closed at a price level that was not very different from its closing price of one year earlier. This is probably due to its weak earnings growth as well as other mixed factors. The fact that the stock is now selling for less than others in its industry in relation to its current earnings is not reason enough to justify a buy rating at this time.
  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Metals & Mining industry. The net income has decreased by 4.8% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, dropping from $743.00 million to $707.00 million.

Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc., a natural resource company, is engaged in the acquisition of mineral assets, and oil and natural gas resources. The company primarily explores for copper, gold, molybdenum, cobalt, silver, and other metals, as well as oil and gas. Freeport-McMoRan Copper has a market cap of $34.5 billion and is part of the basic materials sector and metals & mining industry. Shares are down 13.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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First Solar Inc.:

First Solar (Nasdaq: FSLR) has been reiterated by TheStreet Ratings as a hold with a ratings score of C. According to TheStreet Ratings team: The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and reasonable valuation levels. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including unimpressive growth in net income, poor profit margins and weak operating cash flow.

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Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Compared to its closing price of one year ago, FSLR's share price has jumped by 91.71%, exceeding the performance of the broader market during that same time frame. Regarding the stock's future course, our hold rating indicates that we do not recommend additional investment in this stock despite its gains in the past year.
  • FSLR's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.05 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. To add to this, FSLR has a quick ratio of 1.53, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • The revenue fell significantly faster than the industry average of 5.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 28.5%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • The gross profit margin for FIRST SOLAR INC is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 32.62%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 8.49% significantly trails the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $192.21 million or 41.32% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing the cash generation rate to the industry average, the firm's growth is significantly lower.

First Solar, Inc. provides solar energy solutions worldwide. The company operates through two segments, Components and Systems. First Solar has a market cap of $7.0 billion and is part of the technology sector and electronics industry. Shares are up 23.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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