3 Stocks Reiterated As A Buy: MA, UNH, BIIB

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:

MasterCard Inc:

MasterCard (NYSE: MA) 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, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, growth in earnings per share, expanding profit margins 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:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 11.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 13.4%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • MA's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.24 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. To add to this, MA has a quick ratio of 1.51, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • MASTERCARD INC has improved earnings per share by 14.9% 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, MASTERCARD INC increased its bottom line by earning $2.57 versus $2.19 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($3.01 versus $2.57).
  • The gross profit margin for MASTERCARD INC is rather high; currently it is at 61.59%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 39.16% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • 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 IT Services industry average. The net income increased by 9.8% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $848.00 million to $931.00 million.

MasterCard Incorporated provides transaction processing and other payment-related services in the United States and internationally. It facilitates the processing of payment transactions, including authorization, clearing, and settlement, as well as delivers related products and services. MasterCard has a market cap of $83.3 billion and is part of the financial sector and financial services industry. Shares are down 10.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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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 increase in stock price during the past year, revenue growth, reasonable valuation levels, growth in earnings per share and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. 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 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.
  • UNH's revenue growth trails the industry average of 21.2%. 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.
  • 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.

UnitedHealth Group Incorporated operates as a diversified health and well-being company in the United States. UnitedHealth Group has a market cap of $79.4 billion and is part of the health care sector and health services industry. Shares are up 8.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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Biogen Idec Inc:

Biogen Idec (Nasdaq: BIIB) 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 robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity, reasonable valuation levels and solid stock price performance. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook.

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Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • BIIB's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 36.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 40.5%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • BIIB's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.06 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Along with the favorable debt-to-equity ratio, the company maintains an adequate quick ratio of 1.49, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • 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 Biotechnology industry and the overall market, BIOGEN IDEC INC's return on equity exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 46.11% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 53.29% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. Turning to the future, naturally, any stock can fall in a major bear market. However, in almost any other environment, the stock should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed nice gains in the past year.

Biogen Idec Inc. discovers, develops, manufactures, and markets therapies for the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS), neurodegenerative diseases, hemophilia, and autoimmune disorders in the United States and internationally. Biogen Idec has a market cap of $79.0 billion and is part of the health care sector and drugs industry. Shares are up 18% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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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