3 Stocks Reiterated As A Hold: HPQ, LNKD, 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 30.46% 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 $65.2 billion and is part of the technology sector and computer hardware industry. Shares are up 24.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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LinkedIn Corp:

LinkedIn (NYSE: LNKD) 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 robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself.

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Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 11.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 46.8%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
  • LNKD has no debt to speak of therefore resulting in a debt-to-equity ratio of zero, which we consider to be a relatively favorable sign. Along with this, the company maintains a quick ratio of 3.69, which clearly demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • Net operating cash flow has slightly increased to $128.44 million or 3.43% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow, LINKEDIN CORP's cash flow growth rate is still lower than the industry average growth rate of 17.69%.
  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Internet Software & Services industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 127.7% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $3.73 million to -$1.03 million.
  • 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 Internet Software & Services industry and the overall market, LINKEDIN CORP's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.

LinkedIn Corporation operates an online professional network. LinkedIn has a market cap of $22.1 billion and is part of the technology sector and internet industry. Shares are down 4.6% 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 revenue growth, solid stock price performance and impressive record of earnings per share growth. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including poor profit margins and weak operating cash flow.

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Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • MS's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 2.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 0.1%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • 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.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to $548.00 million or 96.02% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite a decrease in cash flow of 96.02%, MORGAN STANLEY is in line with the industry average cash flow growth rate of -96.17%.
  • The gross profit margin for MORGAN STANLEY is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 33.06%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Regardless of the weak results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 19.79% is above that of the industry average.

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 $61.6 billion and is part of the financial sector and financial services industry. Shares are up 1.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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