3 Stocks Reiterated As A Buy: LOW, MO, 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 Wednesday 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:

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, increase in net income and good cash flow from operations. 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 5.6%. 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 18.2% 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 ($2.63 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 10.3% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $942.00 million to $1,039.00 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $1,929.00 million or 41.42% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of 21.88%.

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 $52.8 billion and is part of the services sector and retail industry. Shares are up 7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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Altria Group Inc:

Altria Group (NYSE: MO) has been reiterated by TheStreet Ratings as a buy with a ratings score of B+. According to TheStreet Ratings team: The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, expanding profit margins, growth in earnings per share, solid stock price performance and notable return on equity. 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:
  • MO's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 0.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 1.0%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • The gross profit margin for ALTRIA GROUP INC is rather high; currently it is at 57.93%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 27.60% is above that of the industry average.
  • ALTRIA GROUP INC's earnings per share improvement from the most recent quarter was slightly positive. 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, ALTRIA GROUP INC increased its bottom line by earning $2.26 versus $2.06 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.57 versus $2.26).
  • 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 26.25% over the past year, a rise that has exceeded that of the S&P 500 Index. Looking ahead, the stock's sharp 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 other strengths this company displays justify these higher price levels.
  • Return on equity has greatly decreased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of major weakness within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Tobacco industry and the overall market, ALTRIA GROUP INC's return on equity significantly exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.

Altria Group, Inc., through its subsidiaries, manufactures and sells cigarettes, smokeless products, and wine in the United States and internationally. Altria Group has a market cap of $86.3 billion and is part of the consumer goods sector and tobacco industry. Shares are up 13.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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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, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, increase in stock price during the past year, growth in earnings per share and increase in net income. 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 4.6%. 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.
  • JNJ's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.22 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. To add to this, JNJ has a quick ratio of 1.80, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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 $293.5 billion and is part of the health care sector and drugs industry. Shares are up 13.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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