Will This Upgrade Help PetSmart (PETM) Stock Today?

Story updated at 9:50 a.m. to reflect market activity.

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- PetSmart (PETM) was upgraded to "equal-weight" by Morgan Stanley (MS) Tuesday.

Shares of PetSmart fell -0.7% to $69.98 in morning trading.

The firm set a price target of $71 for the retailer. Activist presence will likely help create shareholder value according to Morgan Stanley analysts.

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STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

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

"We rate PETSMART INC (PETM) a BUY. This is driven by several positive factors, 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 revenue growth, growth in earnings per share, notable return on equity, increase in net income 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."

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

  • PETM's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 0.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 1.1%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • PETSMART INC has improved earnings per share by 6.1% 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, PETSMART INC increased its bottom line by earning $4.03 versus $3.55 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($4.34 versus $4.03).
  • 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 Specialty Retail industry and the overall market, PETSMART INC's return on equity significantly exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500, but is less than that of the Specialty Retail industry average. The net income increased by 1.3% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $102.42 million to $103.77 million.
  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.48, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels. Even though the company has a strong debt-to-equity ratio, the quick ratio of 0.47 is very weak and demonstrates a lack of ability to pay short-term obligations.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: PETM Ratings Report

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

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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