3 Stocks Reiterated As A Buy: MA, EMC, LOW

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 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 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 ($3.00 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 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.

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 $84.7 billion and is part of the financial sector and financial services industry. Shares are down 9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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EMC Corp:

EMC (NYSE: EMC) 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, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

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Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 9.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 4.7%. 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.
  • Although EMC's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.25 is very low, it is currently higher than that of the industry average. Along with the favorable debt-to-equity ratio, the company maintains an adequate quick ratio of 1.12, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • The gross profit margin for EMC CORP/MA is rather high; currently it is at 69.98%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Despite the strong results of the gross profit margin, EMC's net profit margin of 10.00% significantly trails the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has slightly increased to $1,254.00 million or 2.10% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow, EMC CORP/MA's cash flow growth rate is still lower than the industry average growth rate of 34.36%.
  • EMC CORP/MA's earnings per share declined by 12.5% 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, EMC CORP/MA increased its bottom line by earning $1.33 versus $1.23 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.91 versus $1.33).

EMC Corporation develops, delivers, and supports information infrastructure and virtual infrastructure technologies, solutions, and services. It operates in three segments: Information Storage, Information Intelligence Group, and RSA Information Security. EMC has a market cap of $60.4 billion and is part of the technology sector and computer hardware industry. Shares are up 18.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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Lowe's Companies Inc:

Lowe's Companies (NYSE: LOW) 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, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated.

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Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • LOW's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 0.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 2.4%. 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. Looking ahead, unless broad bear market conditions prevail, we still see more upside potential for this stock, despite the fact that it has already risen over the past year.
  • LOWE'S COMPANIES INC has improved earnings per share by 24.5% 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, LOWE'S COMPANIES INC increased its bottom line by earning $2.13 versus $1.68 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.61 versus $2.13).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Specialty Retail industry average. The net income increased by 15.6% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $540.00 million to $624.00 million.
  • 35.50% is the gross profit margin for LOWE'S COMPANIES INC which we consider to be strong. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Regardless of the strong results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 4.65% trails the industry average.

Lowe's Companies, Inc. operates as a home improvement retailer. It offers products for maintenance, repair, remodeling, and home decorating. Lowe's Companies has a market cap of $50.3 billion and is part of the services sector and retail industry. Shares are up 0.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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