Update (9:37 a.m.): Updated with Thursday market open information.
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Exelon (EXC) received a pair of analyst upgrades on Thursday. Wells Fargo upgraded the stock to "market perform" because the power market is improving and the company should see accretion from the Pepco (POM) deal.
Deustche upgraded the stock to "buy" from "hold" and set a $38 price target. The firm calls the company a core play on a long-awaited market recovery.
The stock was up 2.54% to $35.92 at 9:36 a.m. on Thursday.
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Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates EXELON CORP as a "buy" with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:
"We rate EXELON CORP (EXC) a BUY. This is driven by several positive factors, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its impressive record of earnings per share growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, good cash flow from operations, notable return on equity and compelling growth in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself."
Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:
- EXELON CORP has improved earnings per share by 31.8% 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 year. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, EXELON CORP increased its bottom line by earning $2.00 versus $1.40 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.37 versus $2.00).
- The debt-to-equity ratio is somewhat low, currently at 0.88, and is less than that of the industry average, implying that there has been a relatively successful effort in the management of debt levels. Despite the fact that EXC's debt-to-equity ratio is low, the quick ratio, which is currently 0.62, displays a potential problem in covering short-term cash needs.
- Net operating cash flow has increased to $1,949.00 million or 23.82% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow, EXELON CORP's cash flow growth rate is still lower than the industry average growth rate of 44.78%.
- EXC, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 3.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 1.5%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.
- The company, on the basis of net income growth from the same quarter one year ago, has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and greatly underperformed compared to the Electric Utilities industry average. The net income increased by 30.9% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $378.00 million to $495.00 million.
- You can view the full analysis from the report here: EXC Ratings Report