3 Stocks Reiterated As A Buy: AXP, BIDU, LOW

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 Wednesday 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:

American Express Co:

American Express (NYSE: AXP) 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 impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, revenue growth, notable return on equity and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated.

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Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • AMERICAN EXPRESS CO reported significant earnings per share improvement 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, AMERICAN EXPRESS CO increased its bottom line by earning $4.88 versus $3.87 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($5.45 versus $4.88).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Consumer Finance industry. The net income increased by 105.3% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $637.00 million to $1,308.00 million.
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 4.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 3.7%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • 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. When compared to other companies in the Consumer Finance industry and the overall market, AMERICAN EXPRESS CO's return on equity exceeds that of the industry average and significantly exceeds that of the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 109.73% to $344.00 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, AMERICAN EXPRESS CO has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 40.69%.

American Express Company, together with its subsidiaries, provides charge and credit payment card products and travel-related services to consumers and businesses worldwide. The company operates through four segments: U.S. American Express has a market cap of $90.6 billion and is part of the financial sector and financial services industry. Shares are down 5.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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Baidu Inc.:

Baidu (Nasdaq: BIDU) 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 robust revenue growth, solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures 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:
  • BIDU's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 16.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 55.2%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • 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 67.61% 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, BIDU should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
  • BAIDU INC's earnings per share improvement from the most recent quarter was slightly positive. 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, BAIDU INC increased its bottom line by earning $4.96 versus $4.78 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($31.70 versus $4.96).
  • Despite currently having a low debt-to-equity ratio of 0.46, it is higher than that of the industry average, inferring that management of debt levels may need to be evaluated further. Even though the debt-to-equity ratio shows mixed results, the company's quick ratio of 3.71 is very high and demonstrates very strong liquidity.
  • The gross profit margin for BAIDU INC is rather high; currently it is at 66.01%. Regardless of BIDU's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, BIDU's net profit margin of 29.36% compares favorably to the industry average.

Baidu, Inc. provides Internet search services. Baidu has a market cap of $53.9 billion and is part of the technology sector and internet industry. Shares are down 12.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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Lowe's Companies Inc.:

Lowe's Companies (NYSE: LOW) 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, growth in earnings per share, increase in net income, notable return on equity and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated.

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Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 6.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 5.5%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • LOWE'S COMPANIES INC has improved earnings per share by 11.5% 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, LOWE'S COMPANIES INC increased its bottom line by earning $2.13 versus $1.68 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.64 versus $2.13).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the Specialty Retail industry average, but is less than that of the S&P 500. The net income increased by 5.9% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $289.00 million to $306.00 million.
  • Current return on equity exceeded its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of strength within the company. 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.
  • The stock has risen over the past year as investors have generally rewarded the company for its earnings growth and other positive factors like the ones we have cited in this report. Looking ahead, the stock's 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 the 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 $47.5 billion and is part of the services sector and retail industry. Shares are down 5.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

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