3 Stocks Reiterated As A Buy: AXP, OXY, USB

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 Tuesday 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 revenue growth, notable return on equity, impressive record of earnings per share growth, increase in net income 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:
  • AXP's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 1.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 2.8%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • AMERICAN EXPRESS CO has improved earnings per share by 15.7% 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 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.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the Consumer Finance industry average, but is less than that of the S&P 500. The net income increased by 11.9% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $1,280.00 million to $1,432.00 million.
  • 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.

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 $94.0 billion and is part of the financial sector and financial services industry. Shares are down 2.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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Occidental Petroleum Corp:

Occidental Petroleum (NYSE: OXY) 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, increase in net income, expanding profit margins, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

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Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • OXY's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 3.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 3.7%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • The gross profit margin for OCCIDENTAL PETROLEUM CORP is rather high; currently it is at 57.65%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 22.83% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry average, but is less than that of the S&P 500. The net income increased by 2.6% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $1,355.00 million to $1,390.00 million.
  • OXY's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.16 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Although the company had a strong debt-to-equity ratio, its quick ratio of 0.92 is somewhat weak and could be cause for future problems.
  • The stock price has risen over the past year, but, despite its earnings growth and some other positive factors, it has underperformed the S&P 500 so far. 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.

Occidental Petroleum Corporation is engaged in the acquisition, exploration, and development of oil and gas properties in the United States and internationally. The company operates in three segments: Oil and Gas; Chemical; and Midstream, Marketing and Other. Occidental has a market cap of $76.2 billion and is part of the basic materials sector and energy industry. Shares are up 2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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U.S. Bancorp:

U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB) 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 good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins and solid stock price performance. 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:
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 66.18% to $2,772.00 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, U S BANCORP has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -45.55%.
  • U S BANCORP reported flat earnings per share in the most recent quarter. 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, U S BANCORP increased its bottom line by earning $3.01 versus $2.84 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($3.10 versus $3.01).
  • The gross profit margin for U S BANCORP is currently very high, coming in at 86.78%. 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 27.23% trails the industry average.
  • 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.
  • USB, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 2.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 2.8%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to not be hurting the bottom line, shown by stable earnings per share.

U.S. Bancorp, a financial services holding company, provides a range of financial services in the United States. U.S has a market cap of $75.2 billion and is part of the financial sector and banking industry. Shares are up 2.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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