3 Stocks Reiterated As A Buy: INTC, GE, MRK

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 Thursday 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:

Intel Corp:

Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) 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, reasonable valuation levels, expanding profit margins 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.

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Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 3.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 1.5%. 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.
  • INTC's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.23 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. To add to this, INTC has a quick ratio of 1.68, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • The gross profit margin for INTEL CORP is currently very high, coming in at 74.80%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Regardless of the strong results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 15.12% trails the industry average.
  • Compared to where it was 12 months ago, the stock is up, but it has so far lagged the appreciation in the S&P 500. 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.

Intel Corporation designs, manufactures, and sells integrated digital technology platforms worldwide. It operates through PC Client Group, Data Center Group, Other Intel Architecture, Software and Services, and All Other segments. Intel has a market cap of $130.4 billion and is part of the technology sector and electronics industry. Shares are up 1.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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General Electric Co:

General Electric (NYSE: GE) 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, solid stock price performance and reasonable valuation levels. 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:
  • GE's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 0.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 1.8%. 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.
  • Compared to where it was a year ago today, the stock is now trading at a higher level, regardless of the company's weak earnings results. 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.
  • GENERAL ELECTRIC CO's earnings per share declined by 17.1% in the most recent quarter compared to 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, GENERAL ELECTRIC CO increased its bottom line by earning $1.47 versus $1.38 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.70 versus $1.47).
  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed against the S&P 500 and did not exceed that of the Industrial Conglomerates industry. The net income has decreased by 15.0% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, dropping from $3,527.00 million to $2,999.00 million.

General Electric Company operates as an infrastructure and financial services company worldwide. General Electric has a market cap of $262.6 billion and is part of the industrial goods sector and industrial industry. Shares are down 5.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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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 solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share, expanding profit margins and increase in net income. 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:
  • 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 30.48% over the past year, a rise that has exceeded that of the S&P 500 Index. We feel that the stock's sharp appreciation over the last year has driven it to a price level which is now somewhat expensive compared to the rest of its industry. The other strengths this company shows, however, justify the higher price levels.
  • MERCK & CO has improved earnings per share by 9.6% in the most recent quarter compared to 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, MERCK & CO reported lower earnings of $1.46 versus $2.00 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($3.47 versus $1.46).
  • The gross profit margin for MERCK & CO is currently very high, coming in at 74.10%. Regardless of MRK's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 16.61% trails the industry average.
  • MRK, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 2.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 3.8%. 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 significantly underperformed against the S&P 500 and did not exceed that of the Pharmaceuticals industry. The net income increased by 7.0% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $1,593.00 million to $1,705.00 million.

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 $167.3 billion and is part of the health care sector and drugs industry. Shares are up 11.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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