3 Stocks Reiterated As A Buy: UNH, YHOO, PEP

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 Wednesday 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:

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 solid stock price performance, revenue growth, growth in earnings per share, 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 has had sub par growth in net income.

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Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 16.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 7.1%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • 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. 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.
  • UNITEDHEALTH GROUP INC's earnings per share improvement from the most recent quarter was slightly positive. 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, UNITEDHEALTH GROUP INC increased its bottom line by earning $5.50 versus $5.28 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($5.59 versus $5.50).
  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.51, 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 0.44 is very weak and demonstrates a lack of ability to pay short-term obligations.
  • The company's current return on equity has slightly decreased from the same quarter one year prior. This implies a minor weakness 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.

UnitedHealth Group Incorporated operates as a diversified health and well-being company in the United States. UnitedHealth Group has a market cap of $84.0 billion and is part of the health care sector and health services industry. Shares are up 11.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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Yahoo! Inc:

Yahoo (Nasdaq: YHOO) 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 largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, reasonable valuation levels, solid stock price performance, good cash flow from operations and expanding profit margins. 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:
  • Although YHOO's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.09 is very low, it is currently higher than that of the industry average. Along with this, the company maintains a quick ratio of 2.99, which clearly demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • Net operating cash flow has slightly increased to $357.41 million or 8.03% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow, YAHOO INC's average is still marginally south of the industry average growth rate of 17.73%.
  • Compared to its closing price of one year ago, YHOO's share price has jumped by 29.92%, exceeding the performance of the broader market during that same time frame. 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.
  • The gross profit margin for YAHOO INC is currently very high, coming in at 83.10%. Regardless of YHOO's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, YHOO's net profit margin of 24.87% compares favorably to the industry average.

Yahoo! Inc. operates as a technology company worldwide. Yahoo has a market cap of $36.1 billion and is part of the technology sector and internet industry. Shares are down 11.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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PepsiCo Inc:

PepsiCo (NYSE: PEP) 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, good cash flow from operations, growth in earnings per share, expanding profit margins and reasonable valuation levels. 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:
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 3.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 0.5%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • Net operating cash flow has slightly increased to $2,491.00 million or 7.69% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, PEPSICO INC has also modestly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 3.10%.
  • PEPSICO INC reported flat earnings per share in the most recent quarter. 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, PEPSICO INC increased its bottom line by earning $4.32 versus $3.92 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($4.58 versus $4.32).
  • The gross profit margin for PEPSICO INC is rather high; currently it is at 57.56%. 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 11.70% trails the industry average.

PepsiCo, Inc. operates as a food and beverage company worldwide. Its Frito-Lay North America segment offers Lay's and Ruffles potato chips, Doritos and Tostitos tortilla chips, Cheetos cheese flavored snacks, dips, Fritos corn chips, and Santitas tortilla chips. PepsiCo has a market cap of $137.1 billion and is part of the consumer goods sector and food & beverage industry. Shares are up 8.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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