3 Stocks Reiterated As A Buy: JPM, BIDU, C

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 Friday 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:

JPMorgan Chase & Co:

JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM) 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 attractive 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:
  • The gross profit margin for JPMORGAN CHASE & CO is currently very high, coming in at 88.15%. Regardless of JPM'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 20.99% trails the industry average.
  • JPMORGAN CHASE & CO's earnings per share declined by 19.5% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has suffered a declining pattern of earnings per share over the past year. However, we anticipate this trend reversing over the coming year. During the past fiscal year, JPMORGAN CHASE & CO reported lower earnings of $4.32 versus $5.19 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($5.29 versus $4.32).
  • JPM, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 2.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 9.0%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • In its most recent trading session, JPM has closed at a price level that was not very different from its closing price of one year earlier. This is probably due to its weak earnings growth as well as other mixed factors. 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.

JPMorgan Chase & Co., a financial holding company, provides various financial services worldwide. The company operates through four segments: Consumer & Community Banking, Corporate & Investment Bank, Commercial Banking, and Asset Management. JPMorgan Chase has a market cap of $222.2 billion and is part of the financial sector and banking industry. Shares are down 1.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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Baidu Inc:

Baidu (Nasdaq: BIDU) 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, growth in earnings per share, increase in net income, 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 is trading at a premium valuation based on our review of its current price compared to such things as earnings and book value.

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Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • BIDU's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 21.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 59.0%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • BAIDU INC has improved earnings per share by 22.1% 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, BAIDU INC increased its bottom line by earning $4.96 versus $4.78 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($33.48 versus $4.96).
  • The company, on the basis of net income growth from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly outperformed against the S&P 500 and exceeded that of the Internet Software & Services industry average. The net income increased by 24.0% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $328.92 million to $407.82 million.
  • 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 96.21% over the past year, a rise that has exceeded that of the S&P 500 Index. Looking ahead, the stock's sharp 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 other strengths this company displays justify these higher price levels.
  • Despite currently having a low debt-to-equity ratio of 0.45, it is higher than that of the industry average, inferring that management of debt levels may need to be evaluated further. Even though the debt-to-equity ratio shows mixed results, the company's quick ratio of 3.56 is very high and demonstrates very strong liquidity.

Baidu, Inc. provides Internet search services. Baidu has a market cap of $66.3 billion and is part of the technology sector and internet industry. Shares are up 6.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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Citigroup Inc:

Citigroup (NYSE: C) 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 increase in net income, attractive valuation levels, expanding profit margins 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:
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Commercial Banks industry average. The net income increased by 3.5% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $3,808.00 million to $3,943.00 million.
  • CITIGROUP INC 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, CITIGROUP INC increased its bottom line by earning $4.25 versus $2.46 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($4.54 versus $4.25).
  • 38.78% is the gross profit margin for CITIGROUP INC which we consider to be strong. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Despite the strong results of the gross profit margin, C's net profit margin of 16.62% significantly trails the industry average.
  • C, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 2.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 3.5%. The declining revenue appears to have seeped down to the company's bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.

Citigroup Inc., a diversified financial services holding company, provides various financial products and services to consumers, corporations, governments, and institutions. Citigroup has a market cap of $151.3 billion and is part of the financial sector and banking industry. Shares are down 5.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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