3 Stocks Reiterated As A Hold: HPQ, PM, MS

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 hold 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:

Hewlett-Packard Co:

Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ) has been reiterated by TheStreet Ratings as a hold with a ratings score of C+. According to TheStreet Ratings team: The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth and compelling growth in net income. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including weak operating cash flow and poor profit margins.

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Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • 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 38.66% over the past year, a rise that has exceeded that of the S&P 500 Index. Regarding the stock's future course, our hold rating indicates that we do not recommend additional investment in this stock despite its gains in the past year.
  • HEWLETT-PACKARD CO has improved earnings per share by 20.0% 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 year. We feel that this trend should continue. This trend suggests that the performance of the business is improving. During the past fiscal year, HEWLETT-PACKARD CO turned its bottom line around by earning $2.62 versus -$6.45 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($3.71 versus $2.62).
  • The company's current return on equity greatly increased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of significant strength within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Computers & Peripherals industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, HEWLETT-PACKARD CO has underperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has exceeded that of the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for HEWLETT-PACKARD CO is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 27.20%. Regardless of HPQ's low profit margin, it has managed to increase from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, HPQ's net profit margin of 4.66% is significantly lower than the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $2,995.00 million or 15.77% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing the cash generation rate to the industry average, the firm's growth is significantly lower.

Hewlett-Packard Company, together with its subsidiaries, provides products, technologies, software, solutions, and services to individual consumers, small-and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), and large enterprises, including customers in the government, health, and education sectors worldwide. Hewlett-Packard has a market cap of $66.6 billion and is part of the technology sector and computer hardware industry. Shares are up 25.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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Philip Morris International Inc:

Philip Morris International (NYSE: PM) has been reiterated by TheStreet Ratings as a hold with a ratings score of C+. According to TheStreet Ratings team: Among the primary strengths of the company is its expanding profit margins over time. At the same time, however, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself and feeble growth in the company's earnings per share.

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Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The gross profit margin for PHILIP MORRIS INTERNATIONAL is rather high; currently it is at 67.91%. Regardless of PM'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 23.73% trails the industry average.
  • PM, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 0.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 1.5%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • PHILIP MORRIS INTERNATIONAL's earnings per share declined by 10.0% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. We feel it is likely to report a decline in earnings in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, PHILIP MORRIS INTERNATIONAL increased its bottom line by earning $5.26 versus $5.18 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 1.5% in earnings ($5.18 versus $5.26).
  • Reflecting the weaknesses we have cited, including the decline in the company's earnings per share, PM has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 8.04% from its price level of one year ago. Turning toward the future, the fact that the stock has come down in price over the past year should not necessarily be interpreted as a negative; it could be one of the factors that may help make the stock attractive down the road. Right now, however, we believe that it is too soon to buy.
  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Tobacco industry average. The net income has decreased by 12.9% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, dropping from $2,124.00 million to $1,851.00 million.

Philip Morris International Inc., through its subsidiaries, manufactures and sells cigarettes and other tobacco products. The company's portfolio of brands include Marlboro, Merit, Parliament, Virginia Slims, L&M, Chesterfield, Bond Street, Lark, Muratti, Next, Philip Morris, and Red & White. Philip Morris International has a market cap of $129.0 billion and is part of the consumer goods sector and tobacco industry. Shares are down 6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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Morgan Stanley:

Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) has been reiterated by TheStreet Ratings as a hold with a ratings score of C+. According to TheStreet Ratings team: The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth and compelling growth in net income. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the company's return on equity has been disappointing.

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Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Compared to where it was a year ago today, the stock is now trading at a higher level, reflecting both the market's overall trend during that period and the fact that the company's earnings growth has been robust. Looking ahead, our view is that this company's fundamentals will not have much impact in either direction, allowing the stock to generally move up or down based on the push and pull of the broad market.
  • MORGAN STANLEY reported significant earnings per share improvement 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. This trend suggests that the performance of the business is improving. During the past fiscal year, MORGAN STANLEY increased its bottom line by earning $1.38 versus $0.01 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.40 versus $1.38).
  • Regardless of the drop in revenue, the company managed to outperform against the industry average of 2.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 1.3%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing 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. When compared to other companies in the Capital Markets industry and the overall market, MORGAN STANLEY's return on equity is below that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.

Morgan Stanley, a financial holding company, provides various financial products and services to corporations, governments, financial institutions, and individuals worldwide. Morgan Stanley has a market cap of $63.8 billion and is part of the financial sector and financial services industry. Shares are up 0.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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