Will This Price Target Increase Help International Paper (IP) Stock Today?

Story updated at 10 a.m. to reflect market activity.

NEW YORK (TheStreet) --Credit Suisse increased its target number for International Paper (IP) to $70 Tuesday, reiterating its "outperform" rating for the stock.

International Paper gained 0.2% to $45.95 in morning trading.

The firm also raised its EPS estimates for the company. Credit Suisse analysts cited International Paper's solid earnings momentum as a cause for the increases.

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Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates INTL PAPER CO as a Buy with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate INTL PAPER CO (IP) a BUY. This is driven by some important positives, 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 notable return on equity 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."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • INTL PAPER CO 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, INTL PAPER CO increased its bottom line by earning $3.01 versus $1.71 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($3.60 versus $3.01).
  • 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 Paper & Forest Products industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, INTL PAPER CO has outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500.
  • Regardless of the drop in revenue, the company managed to outperform against the industry average of 9.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 1.1%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • In its most recent trading session, IP 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. 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 INTL PAPER CO is rather low; currently it is at 19.85%. Regardless of IP's low profit margin, it has managed to increase from the same period last year.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: IP Ratings Report

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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.

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