3 Stocks Reiterated As A Buy: PCLN, UNH, XOM

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 4.3%. 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 47.17% 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 $65.2 billion and is part of the services sector and diversified services industry. Shares are up 6.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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UnitedHealth Group Inc:

UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) 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, good cash flow from operations, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures 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:
  • UNH's revenue growth trails the industry average of 16.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 4.5%. 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.
  • 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 Health Care Providers & Services industry and the overall market, UNITEDHEALTH GROUP INC's return on equity exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $1,408.00 million or 33.71% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow, UNITEDHEALTH GROUP INC's average is still marginally south of the industry average growth rate of 37.94%.
  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.52, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels. Despite the fact that UNH's debt-to-equity ratio is low, the quick ratio, which is currently 0.56, displays a potential problem in covering short-term cash needs.
  • UNH's share price has surged by 26.38% over the past year, reflecting the market's general trend, despite their weak earnings growth during the last quarter. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, UNH should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.

UnitedHealth Group Incorporated operates as a diversified health and well-being company in the United States. UnitedHealth Group has a market cap of $81.7 billion and is part of the health care sector and health services industry. Shares are up 10.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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Exxon Mobil Corporation:

Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE: XOM) 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 attractive valuation levels, good cash flow from operations, increase in stock price during the past year and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

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Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $15,103.00 million or 11.11% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow, EXXON MOBIL CORP's average is still marginally south of the industry average growth rate of 17.65%.
  • 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.
  • XOM's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.12 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Despite the fact that XOM's debt-to-equity ratio is low, the quick ratio, which is currently 0.55, displays a potential problem in covering short-term cash needs.
  • Regardless of the drop in revenue, the company managed to outperform against the industry average of 3.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 2.1%. The declining revenue appears to have seeped down to the company's bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.

Exxon Mobil Corporation explores and produces for crude oil and natural gas. As of December 31, 2013, the company had approximately 37,661 gross and 31,823 net operated wells. Exxon Mobil has a market cap of $442.2 billion and is part of the basic materials sector and energy industry. Shares are up 1.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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