3 Stocks Reiterated As A Buy: PCLN, OXY, V

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:

Priceline Group Inc:

Priceline Group (Nasdaq: PCLN) 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, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. 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 revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 7.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 26.4%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • Although PCLN's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.23 is very low, it is currently higher than that of the industry average. Along with this, the company maintains a quick ratio of 5.32, which clearly demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • 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 Internet & Catalog Retail industry and the overall market, PRICELINE GROUP INC's return on equity exceeds that of the industry average and significantly exceeds that of the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for PRICELINE GROUP INC is currently very high, coming in at 88.67%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 27.14% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $689.98 million or 16.27% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of 1.86%.

The Priceline Group Inc. operates as an online travel company. Priceline Group has a market cap of $67.4 billion and is part of the services sector and diversified services industry. Shares are up 9.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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Occidental Petroleum Corp:

Occidental Petroleum (NYSE: OXY) 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, increase in stock price during the past year, expanding profit margins, increase in net income 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:
  • OXY's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 2.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 5.2%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost 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.
  • 48.97% is the gross profit margin for OCCIDENTAL PETROLEUM CORP which we consider to be strong. Regardless of OXY's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, OXY's net profit margin of 22.80% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • 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 Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry average. The net income increased by 8.2% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $1,322.00 million to $1,431.00 million.
  • OXY's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.16 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Although the company had a strong debt-to-equity ratio, its quick ratio of 0.93 is somewhat weak and could be cause for future problems.

Occidental Petroleum Corporation is engaged in the acquisition, exploration, and development of oil and gas properties in the United States and internationally. The company operates in three segments: Oil and Gas; Chemical; and Midstream, Marketing and Other. Occidental has a market cap of $77.9 billion and is part of the basic materials sector and energy industry. Shares are up 5.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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Visa Inc:

Visa (NYSE: V) 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 shows weak operating cash flow.

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Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 12.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 5.1%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • V 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 the favorable debt-to-equity ratio, the company maintains an adequate quick ratio of 1.45, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • VISA INC has improved earnings per share by 15.4% 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, VISA INC increased its bottom line by earning $7.58 versus $3.13 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($8.98 versus $7.58).
  • The gross profit margin for VISA INC is rather high; currently it is at 67.48%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 43.10% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • 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. 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.

Visa Inc., a payments technology company, operates as a retail electronic payments network worldwide. The company facilitates commerce through the transfer of value and information among financial institutions, merchants, consumers, businesses, and government entities. Visa has a market cap of $105.2 billion and is part of the financial sector and financial services industry. Shares are down 5.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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