3 Stocks Reiterated As A Buy: PCLN, LOW, MET

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 Monday 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:

Priceline Group Inc:

Priceline Group (Nasdaq: PCLN) 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, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth and expanding profit margins. 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:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 4.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 26.1%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • Although PCLN's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.26 is very low, it is currently higher than that of the industry average. Along with this, the company maintains a quick ratio of 5.14, which clearly demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 31.30% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 45.65% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, PCLN should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
  • PRICELINE GROUP INC has improved earnings per share by 31.3% 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, PRICELINE GROUP INC increased its bottom line by earning $36.01 versus $27.71 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($52.31 versus $36.01).
  • The gross profit margin for PRICELINE GROUP INC is currently very high, coming in at 85.67%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 20.17% significantly outperformed against the industry average.

The Priceline Group Inc. operates as an online travel company. Priceline Group has a market cap of $63.3 billion and is part of the services sector and diversified services industry. Shares are up 3.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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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, impressive record of earnings per share growth, reasonable valuation levels, expanding profit margins 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:
  • LOW's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 2.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 2.4%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • LOWE'S COMPANIES INC has improved earnings per share by 24.5% 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 ($2.61 versus $2.13).
  • 35.50% is the gross profit margin for LOWE'S COMPANIES INC which we consider to be strong. 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 4.65% trails the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has remained constant at $1,994.00 million with no significant change when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, LOWE'S COMPANIES INC has modestly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -3.54%.

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 $45.8 billion and is part of the services sector and retail industry. Shares are down 7.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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MetLife Inc:

MetLife (NYSE: MET) 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, solid stock price performance, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and notable return on equity. 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:
  • METLIFE INC has improved earnings per share by 31.0% 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, METLIFE INC increased its bottom line by earning $2.91 versus $1.09 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($5.66 versus $2.91).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Insurance industry average. The net income increased by 34.7% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $986.00 million to $1,328.00 million.
  • Compared to where it was a year ago today, the stock is now trading at a higher level, reflecting both the market's overall trend during that period and the fact that the company's earnings growth has been robust. 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.
  • MET, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 7.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 3.3%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.
  • Despite currently having a low debt-to-equity ratio of 0.37, it is higher than that of the industry average, inferring that management of debt levels may need to be evaluated further.

MetLife, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides insurance, annuities, and employee benefit programs in the United States, Japan, Latin America, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. MetLife has a market cap of $63.3 billion and is part of the financial sector and insurance industry. Shares are up 4.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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