3 Stocks Reiterated As A Buy: INTC, MRK, JNJ

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:

Intel Corp:

Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) 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 net income, revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, solid stock price performance and reasonable valuation levels. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results.

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Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • 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 Semiconductors & Semiconductor Equipment industry average. The net income increased by 39.8% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $2,000.00 million to $2,796.00 million.
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 8.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 8.0%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • Although INTC's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.22 is very low, it is currently higher than that of the industry average. To add to this, INTC has a quick ratio of 1.75, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 41.02% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 45.23% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, INTC should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.

Intel Corporation designs, manufactures, and sells integrated digital technology platforms worldwide. It operates through PC Client Group, Data Center Group, Other Intel Architecture, Software and Services, and All Other segments. Intel has a market cap of $167.8 billion and is part of the technology sector and electronics industry. Shares are up 30% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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Merck & Co Inc:

Merck (NYSE: MRK) 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 net income, solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share and expanding profit margins. 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:
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Pharmaceuticals industry. The net income increased by 121.2% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $906.00 million to $2,004.00 million.
  • 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, the stock's 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 the other strengths this company displays justify these higher price levels.
  • MERCK & CO reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. 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, MERCK & CO reported lower earnings of $1.46 versus $2.00 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($3.50 versus $1.46).
  • Regardless of the drop in revenue, the company managed to outperform against the industry average of 5.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 0.7%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.
  • The gross profit margin for MERCK & CO is rather high; currently it is at 62.85%. Despite the high profit margin, it has decreased significantly from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 18.32% trails the industry average.

Merck & Co., Inc. provides various health solutions through its prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, animal health, and consumer care products worldwide. Merck has a market cap of $165.8 billion and is part of the health care sector and drugs industry. Shares are up 13.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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Johnson & Johnson:

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) 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, growth in earnings per share, increase in net income, increase in stock price during the past year and expanding profit margins. 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:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 5.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 9.1%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • JOHNSON & JOHNSON has improved earnings per share by 13.5% 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, JOHNSON & JOHNSON increased its bottom line by earning $4.82 versus $3.87 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($5.92 versus $4.82).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500 and greatly outperformed compared to the Pharmaceuticals industry average. The net income increased by 12.9% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $3,833.00 million to $4,326.00 million.
  • The stock price has risen over the past year, but, despite its earnings growth and some other positive factors, it has underperformed the S&P 500 so far. 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.
  • The gross profit margin for JOHNSON & JOHNSON is rather high; currently it is at 69.02%. Regardless of JNJ's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, JNJ's net profit margin of 22.19% compares favorably to the industry average.

Johnson & Johnson, together with its subsidiaries, is engaged in the research and development, manufacture, and sale of various products in the health care field worldwide. The company operates in three segments: Consumer, Pharmaceutical, and Medical Devices and Diagnostics. Johnson & Johnson has a market cap of $283.2 billion and is part of the health care sector and drugs industry. Shares are up 9.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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