NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- With the passing of legendary investor Kirk Kerkorian earlier this week, and his private investment corporation Tracinda Corp. looking to sell its stake in MGM Resorts (MGM), we decided to check Quant Ratings to see if any of Kerkorian's favorite companies would be good investments today. 

Kerkorian was affiliated with many successful companies in his long investing career. Although he did not own all of the companies on our list, Kerkorian crossed paths with them during some point in his career. And although he passed away earlier this week, you can bet there are still investors out there asking themselves, "What would Kirk do?"

So, what are the best "Kerkorian companies" investors should be buying? Here are the top three, according to TheStreet Ratings, TheStreet's proprietary ratings tool.

TheStreet Ratings projects a stock's total return potential over a 12-month period including both price appreciation and dividends. Based on 32 major data points, TheStreet Ratings uses a quantitative approach to rating over 4,300 stocks to predict return potential for the next year. The model is both objective, using elements such as volatility of past operating revenues, financial strength, and company cash flows, and subjective, including expected equities market returns, future interest rates, implied industry outlook and forecasted company earnings.

Buying an S&P 500 stock that TheStreet Ratings rated a buy yielded a 16.56% return in 2014 beating the S&P 500 Total Return Index by 304 basis points. Buying a Russell 2000 stock that TheStreet Ratings rated a buy yielded a 9.5% return in 2014, beating the Russell 2000 index, including dividends reinvested, by 460 basis points last year.

Check out which companies made the list. And when you're done, be sure to read about which highly volatile tech stocks to buy now. Year-to-date returns are based on June 17, 2015, closing prices. The highest-rated stock appears last.

GM ChartGM data by YCharts
3. General Motors Company (GM)

Rating: Buy, B
Market Cap: $57.5 billion
Year-to-date return: 2.6%

General Motors Company designs, builds, and sells cars, crossovers, trucks, and automobile parts worldwide. It operates through GM North America, GM Europe, GM International Operations, GM South America, and GM Financial segments.

"We rate GENERAL MOTORS CO (GM) a BUY. This is driven by some important positives, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in net income, impressive record of earnings per share growth, notable return on equity and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Automobiles industry. The net income increased by 343.7% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $213.00 million to $945.00 million.
  • GENERAL MOTORS CO reported significant earnings per share improvement 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, GENERAL MOTORS CO reported lower earnings of $1.64 versus $2.35 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($4.48 versus $1.64).
  • 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. Compared to other companies in the Automobiles industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, GENERAL MOTORS CO has outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500.
  • Regardless of the drop in revenue, the company managed to outperform against the industry average of 7.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 4.5%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.
  • Even though the current debt-to-equity ratio is 1.33, it is still below the industry average, suggesting that this level of debt is acceptable within the Automobiles industry. Regardless of the somewhat mixed results with the debt-to-equity ratio, the company's quick ratio of 0.79 is weak.

F ChartF data by YCharts
2. Ford Motor Company (F)

Rating: Buy, B
Market Cap: $59.7 billion
Year-to-date return: 3.1%

Ford Motor Company manufactures and distributes automobiles worldwide. The company operates through two sectors, Automotive and Financial Services. The Automotive sector develops, manufactures, distributes, and services vehicles, parts, and accessories.

"We rate FORD MOTOR CO (F) a BUY. This is driven by a number of strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. Among the primary strengths of the company is its generally strong cash flow from operations. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • Net operating cash flow has slightly increased to $2,413.00 million or 8.69% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow, FORD MOTOR CO's cash flow growth rate is still lower than the industry average growth rate of 23.35%.
  • Regardless of the drop in revenue, the company managed to outperform against the industry average of 7.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 5.5%. The declining revenue appears to have seeped down to the company's bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • FORD MOTOR CO' earnings per share from the most recent quarter came in slightly below the year earlier quarter. The company has suffered a declining pattern of earnings per share over the past two years. However, we anticipate this trend to reverse over the coming year. During the past fiscal year, FORD MOTOR CO reported lower earnings of $0.78 versus $1.75 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.59 versus $0.78).
  • The gross profit margin for FORD MOTOR CO is rather low; currently it is at 18.58%. Regardless of F's low profit margin, it has managed to increase from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 2.72% trails the industry average.
  • 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 Automobiles industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, FORD MOTOR CO has outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500.

TWC ChartTWC data by YCharts
1. Time Warner Cable Inc. (TWC)

Rating: Buy, B+
Market Cap: $50.3 billion
Year-to-date return: 17%

Time Warner Cable Inc., together with its subsidiaries, provides video, high-speed data, and voice services in the United States. It operates in three segments: Residential Services, Business Services, and Other Operations.

"We rate TIME WARNER CABLE INC (TWC) a BUY. This is driven by some important positives, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance, good cash flow from operations and notable return on equity. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 3.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 3.5%. 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.
  • Compared to its closing price of one year ago, TWC's share price has jumped by 25.43%, exceeding the performance of the broader market during that same time frame. 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.
  • TIME WARNER CABLE INC's earnings per share declined by 6.5% 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, TIME WARNER CABLE INC increased its bottom line by earning $7.17 versus $6.71 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($7.26 versus $7.17).
  • Net operating cash flow has slightly increased to $1,508.00 million or 7.94% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow, TIME WARNER CABLE INC's average is still marginally south of the industry average growth rate of 15.07%.
  • 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 Media industry and the overall market, TIME WARNER CABLE INC's return on equity significantly exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.

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