3 Stocks Reiterated As A Buy: VZ, UNH, OXY

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:

Verizon Communications Inc:

Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) 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, notable return on equity, compelling growth in net income, increase in stock price during the past year 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:
  • VZ's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 1.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 5.7%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • 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 Diversified Telecommunication Services industry and the overall market, VERIZON COMMUNICATIONS INC's return on equity significantly exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Diversified Telecommunication Services industry. The net income increased by 87.6% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $2,246.00 million to $4,214.00 million.
  • Compared to where it was 12 months ago, the stock is up, but it has so far lagged the appreciation in the S&P 500. 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.
  • The gross profit margin for VERIZON COMMUNICATIONS INC is rather high; currently it is at 61.61%. Regardless of VZ's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, VZ's net profit margin of 13.38% compares favorably to the industry average.

Verizon Communications Inc. provides communications, information, and entertainment products and services to consumers, businesses, and governmental agencies worldwide. Verizon has a market cap of $205.6 billion and is part of the technology sector and telecommunications industry. Shares are up 1.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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UnitedHealth Group Inc:

UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) 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 solid stock price performance, revenue growth, growth in earnings per share, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and notable return on equity. 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:
  • UNH's revenue growth trails the industry average of 20.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 7.1%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving 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.
  • UNITEDHEALTH 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, UNITEDHEALTH GROUP INC increased its bottom line by earning $5.50 versus $5.28 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($5.60 versus $5.50).
  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.51, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels. Despite the fact that UNH's debt-to-equity ratio is low, the quick ratio, which is currently 0.58, displays a potential problem in covering short-term cash needs.
  • 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 Health Care Providers & Services industry and the overall market, UNITEDHEALTH GROUP INC's return on equity exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.

UnitedHealth Group Incorporated operates as a diversified health and well-being company in the United States. UnitedHealth Group has a market cap of $83.7 billion and is part of the health care sector and health services industry. Shares are up 15% 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, expanding profit margins, increase in net income, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and growth in earnings per share. 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 3.0%. 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.
  • 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 CORP has improved earnings per share by 11.0% 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. However, we anticipate underperformance relative to this pattern in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, OCCIDENTAL PETROLEUM CORP increased its bottom line by earning $7.35 versus $5.71 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 1.1% in earnings ($7.27 versus $7.35).

Occidental Petroleum Corporation engages 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 $75.4 billion and is part of the basic materials sector and energy industry. Shares are up 3.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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