NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The S&P 500 is widely regarded as the best single proxy for the entire U.S. equity market, and often for the health of the economy. The index consists of the top 500 stocks in leading industries of the U.S. economy, representing about 80% of total market capitalization.

Even in the worst markets, there are usually great stocks to buy in the S&P 500. We picked only the A+ rated ones for this list, looking through TheStreet Quant Ratings, TheStreet's proprietary quant-based stock-rating tool.

The Street Quant Ratings rates every one of these stocks a "buy." These stocks were chosen from 4,300 different types of equities we rate.

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 stocks made the list. And when you're done, be sure to read about which safe, A+ rated stocks you should buy now. Year-to-date returns are based on October 14, 2015 closing prices.

TSS Chart TSS data by YCharts
21. Total System Services, Inc. (TSS)

Rating: Buy, A+
Market Cap: $8.9 billion
Year-to-date return: 41.4%

Total System Services, Inc. provides electronic payment processing services to banks and other financial institutions in the United States, Europe, Canada, Mexico, and internationally.

TheStreet Ratings team rates TOTAL SYSTEM SERVICES INC as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

We rate TOTAL SYSTEM SERVICES INC (TSS) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. 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, solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth and good cash flow from operations. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

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

  • The revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 21.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 15.1%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is somewhat low, currently at 0.81, and is less than that of the industry average, implying that there has been a relatively successful effort in the management of debt levels. To add to this, TSS has a quick ratio of 2.00, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 40.62% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 57.67% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. Turning to the future, naturally, any stock can fall in a major bear market. However, in almost any other environment, the stock should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed nice gains in the past year.
  • TOTAL SYSTEM SERVICES INC has improved earnings per share by 40.6% 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, TOTAL SYSTEM SERVICES INC increased its bottom line by earning $1.46 versus $1.27 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.29 versus $1.46).
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $126.80 million or 39.74% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of -2.37%.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: TSS
CINF Chart CINF data by YCharts
20. Cincinnati Financial Corporation (CINF - Get Report)

Rating: Buy, A+
Market Cap: $9.2 billion
Year-to-date return: 7.51%

Cincinnati Financial Corporation engages in the property casualty insurance business in the United States. It operates in five segments: Commercial Lines Insurance, Personal Lines Insurance, Excess and Surplus Lines Insurance, Life Insurance, and Investments.

TheStreet Ratings team rates CINCINNATI FINANCIAL CORP as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

We rate CINCINNATI FINANCIAL CORP (CINF) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. 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, solid stock price performance, compelling growth in net income and good cash flow from operations. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

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

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 12.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 8.4%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • CINF's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.13 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels.
  • Looking at where the stock is today compared to one year ago, we find that it is not only higher, but it has also clearly outperformed the rise in the S&P 500 over the same period. Although other factors naturally played a role, the company's strong earnings growth was key. 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 net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Insurance industry. The net income increased by 109.5% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $84.00 million to $176.00 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $255.00 million or 14.86% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, CINCINNATI FINANCIAL CORP has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -45.63%.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: CINF

EFX Chart EFX data by YCharts
19. Equifax Inc. (EFX - Get Report)

Rating: Buy, A+
Market Cap: $12.3 billion
Year-to-date return: 28.82%

Equifax Inc. provides information solutions and human resources business process outsourcing services for businesses, governments, and consumers. The company's U.S.

TheStreet Ratings team rates EQUIFAX INC as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

We rate EQUIFAX INC (EFX) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, notable return on equity and expanding profit margins. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company is trading at a premium valuation based on our review of its current price compared to such things as earnings and book value.

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

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 3.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 10.4%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • EQUIFAX INC has improved earnings per share by 22.7% 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, EQUIFAX INC increased its bottom line by earning $2.97 versus $2.69 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($4.41 versus $2.97).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has greatly exceeded that of the S&P 500, but is less than that of the Professional Services industry average. The net income increased by 19.6% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $92.80 million to $111.00 million.
  • 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 Professional Services industry and the overall market, EQUIFAX INC's return on equity exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for EQUIFAX INC is rather high; currently it is at 67.44%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 16.36% is above that of the industry average.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: EFX
TSO Chart TSO data by YCharts
18. Tesoro Corporation (TSO)

Rating: Buy, A+
Market Cap: $12.3 billion
Year-to-date return: 33.14%

Tesoro Corporation, through its subsidiaries, engages in petroleum refining and marketing activities in the United States. It operates in three segments: Refining, Tesoro Logistics LP (TLLP), and Retail.

TheStreet Ratings team rates TESORO CORP as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

We rate TESORO CORP (TSO) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, notable return on equity and attractive valuation levels. 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:

  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 171.76% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 61.62% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, TSO should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
  • TESORO CORP reported significant earnings per share improvement 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, TESORO CORP increased its bottom line by earning $6.69 versus $2.83 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($13.05 versus $6.69).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry. The net income increased by 159.8% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $224.00 million to $582.00 million.
  • 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. When compared to other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, TESORO CORP's return on equity exceeds that of the industry average and significantly exceeds that of the S&P 500.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: TSO

DPS Chart DPS data by YCharts
17. Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Inc. (DPS)

Rating: Buy, A+
Market Cap: $15.9 billion
Year-to-date return: 15.51%

Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Inc. operates as a brand owner, manufacturer, and distributor of non-alcoholic beverages in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean. The company operates through three segments: Beverage Concentrates, Packaged Beverages, and Latin America Beverages.

TheStreet Ratings team rates DR PEPPER SNAPPLE GROUP INC as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

We rate DR PEPPER SNAPPLE GROUP INC (DPS) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share, increase in net income and expanding profit margins. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

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

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 11.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 1.5%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • 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 28.22% over the past year, a rise that has exceeded that of the S&P 500 Index. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, DPS should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
  • DR PEPPER SNAPPLE GROUP INC has improved earnings per share by 7.5% 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, DR PEPPER SNAPPLE GROUP INC increased its bottom line by earning $3.57 versus $3.06 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($3.95 versus $3.57).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Beverages industry. The net income increased by 4.8% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $210.00 million to $220.00 million.
  • The gross profit margin for DR PEPPER SNAPPLE GROUP INC is rather high; currently it is at 60.73%. 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 13.29% trails the industry average.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: DPS
TSN Chart TSN data by YCharts
16. Tyson Foods, Inc. (TSN - Get Report)

Rating: Buy, A+
Market Cap: $18.1 billion
Year-to-date return: 10.48%

Tyson Foods, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, produces, distributes, and markets chicken, beef, pork, prepared foods, and related allied products worldwide. The company breeds and raises chickens; and processes live chickens into fresh, frozen, and value-added chicken products.

TheStreet Ratings team rates TYSON FOODS INC as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

We rate TYSON FOODS INC (TSN) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share, increase in net income and attractive valuation levels. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.

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

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 8.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 4.0%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • The stock has not only risen over the past year, it has done so at a faster pace than the S&P 500, reflecting the earnings growth and other positive factors similar to those we have cited here. 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.
  • TYSON FOODS INC has improved earnings per share by 13.7% 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, TYSON FOODS INC increased its bottom line by earning $2.40 versus $2.32 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($3.20 versus $2.40).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Food Products industry. The net income increased by 31.9% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $260.00 million to $343.00 million.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: TSN

HRL Chart HRL data by YCharts
15. Hormel Foods Corporation (HRL - Get Report)

Rating: Buy, A+
Market Cap: $17.2 billion
Year-to-date return: 24.18%

Hormel Foods Corporation produces and markets various meat and food products worldwide. The company operates in five segments: Grocery Products, Refrigerated Foods, Jennie-O Turkey Store, Specialty Foods, and International & Other.

TheStreet Ratings team rates HORMEL FOODS CORP as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

We rate HORMEL FOODS CORP (HRL) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its growth in earnings per share, increase in net income, good cash flow from operations, solid stock price performance and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

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

  • HORMEL FOODS CORP has improved earnings per share by 5.9% 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, HORMEL FOODS CORP increased its bottom line by earning $2.23 versus $1.94 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.61 versus $2.23).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Food Products industry. The net income increased by 6.5% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $137.98 million to $146.94 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 104.89% to $244.51 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, HORMEL FOODS CORP has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 7.79%.
  • 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 26.49% 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.
  • HRL's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.15 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 0.73 is somewhat weak and could be cause for future problems.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: HRL
PGR Chart PGR data by YCharts
14. Progressive Corporation (PGR - Get Report)

Rating: Buy, A+
Market Cap: $18.6 billion
Year-to-date return: 16.93%

The Progressive Corporation, an insurance holding company, provides personal and commercial property-casualty insurance, and other specialty property-casualty insurance and related services primarily in the United States.

TheStreet Ratings team rates PROGRESSIVE CORP-OHIO as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

We rate PROGRESSIVE CORP-OHIO (PGR) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance, notable return on equity, good cash flow from operations and compelling growth in net income. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

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

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 12.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 11.5%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 26.53% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 25.26% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, PGR should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
  • 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 Insurance industry and the overall market, PROGRESSIVE CORP-OHIO's return on equity 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 Insurance industry. The net income increased by 23.8% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $293.40 million to $363.30 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 73.12% to $658.90 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, PROGRESSIVE CORP-OHIO has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -45.63%.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: PGR

WM Chart WM data by YCharts
13. Waste Management, Inc. (WM - Get Report)

Rating: Buy, A+
Market Cap: $23.8 billion
Year-to-date return: 2.2%

Waste Management, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides various waste management environmental services to residential, commercial, industrial, and municipal customers in North America.

TheStreet Ratings team rates WASTE MANAGEMENT INC as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

We rate WASTE MANAGEMENT INC (WM) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, compelling growth in net income, notable return on equity, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. 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:

  • Looking at where the stock is today compared to one year ago, we find that it is not only higher, but it has also clearly outperformed the rise in the S&P 500 over the same period. Although other factors naturally played a role, the company's strong earnings growth was key. 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 net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Commercial Services & Supplies industry. The net income increased by 30.5% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $210.00 million to $274.00 million.
  • 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 Commercial Services & Supplies industry and the overall market, WASTE MANAGEMENT INC's return on equity exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • 37.07% is the gross profit margin for WASTE MANAGEMENT INC which we consider to be strong. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 8.26% is above that of the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $816.00 million or 47.02% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of 17.31%.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: WM
STZ Chart STZ data by YCharts
12. Constellation Brands, Inc. (STZ - Get Report)

Rating: Buy, A+
Market Cap: $26.5 billion
Year-to-date return: 36.18%

Constellation Brands, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, produces, imports, and markets beer, wine, and spirits in the United States, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, and Italy. The company sells wine across various categories, including table wine, sparkling wine, and dessert wine.

TheStreet Ratings team rates CONSTELLATION BRANDS as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

We rate CONSTELLATION BRANDS (STZ) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations, compelling growth in net income 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:

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 11.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 8.1%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Beverages industry. The net income increased by 54.4% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $195.80 million to $302.40 million.
  • 48.08% is the gross profit margin for CONSTELLATION BRANDS which we consider to be strong. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 17.44% is above that of the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $597.40 million or 37.08% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of -5.08%.
  • 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 Beverages industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, CONSTELLATION BRANDS has underperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has exceeded that of the S&P 500.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: STZ

CB Chart CB data by YCharts
11. Chubb Corporation (CB - Get Report)

Rating: Buy, A+
Market Cap: $28.5 billion
Year-to-date return: 20.52%

The Chubb Corporation, through its subsidiaries, provides property and casualty insurance to businesses and individuals.

TheStreet Ratings team rates CHUBB CORP as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

We rate CHUBB CORP (CB) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, good cash flow from operations, notable return on equity and attractive valuation levels. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

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

  • 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 33.07% over the past year, a rise that has exceeded that of the S&P 500 Index. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, CB should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
  • Although CB's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.21 is very low, it is currently higher than that of the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $552.00 million or 35.96% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, CHUBB CORP has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -45.63%.
  • 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 Insurance industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, CHUBB CORP has outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500.
  • Despite the weak revenue results, CB has outperformed against the industry average of 12.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 1.6%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: CB
KR Chart KR data by YCharts
10. Kroger Co. (KR - Get Report)

Rating: Buy, A+
Market Cap: $35.7 billion
Year-to-date return: 13.16%

The Kroger Co., together with its subsidiaries, operates as a retailer in the United States and internationally. It also manufactures and processes food for sale in its supermarkets.

TheStreet Ratings team rates KROGER CO as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

We rate KROGER CO (KR) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity, good cash flow from operations, solid stock price performance and impressive record of earnings per share growth. 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:

  • KR's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 3.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 0.9%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 25.71% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 40.53% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, KR should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
  • KROGER CO has improved earnings per share by 25.7% 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, KROGER CO increased its bottom line by earning $1.73 versus $1.45 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.99 versus $1.73).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Food & Staples Retailing industry. The net income increased by 24.8% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $347.00 million to $433.00 million.
  • 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 Food & Staples Retailing industry and the overall market, KROGER CO's return on equity significantly exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: KR

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9. Public Storage (PSA - Get Report)

Rating: Buy, A+
Market Cap: $37.5 billion
Year-to-date return: 17.42%

Public Storage is an equity real estate investment trust. It engages in the acquisition, development, ownership, and operation of self-storage facilities in the United States and Europe.

TheStreet Ratings team rates PUBLIC STORAGE as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

We rate PUBLIC STORAGE (PSA) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share, revenue growth, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook.

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

  • 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 29.16% over the past year, a rise that has exceeded that of the S&P 500 Index. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, PSA should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
  • PUBLIC STORAGE has improved earnings per share by 20.6% 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, PUBLIC STORAGE increased its bottom line by earning $5.25 versus $4.89 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($5.94 versus $5.25).
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 9.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 8.7%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • The gross profit margin for PUBLIC STORAGE is rather high; currently it is at 55.29%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 54.30% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $456.84 million or 15.55% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow, PUBLIC STORAGE's average is still marginally south of the industry average growth rate of 16.13%.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: PSA
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8. Danaher Corporation (DHR - Get Report)

Rating: Buy, A+
Market Cap: $60.3 billion
Year-to-date return: 2.95%

Danaher Corporation designs, manufactures, and markets professional, medical, industrial, and commercial products and services worldwide.

TheStreet Ratings team rates DANAHER CORP as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

We rate DANAHER CORP (DHR) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. 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 solid stock price performance. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.

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

  • DHR's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 4.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 3.3%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • DHR's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.13 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Along with the favorable debt-to-equity ratio, the company maintains an adequate quick ratio of 1.37, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • The stock has not only risen over the past year, it has done so at a faster pace than the S&P 500, reflecting the earnings growth and other positive factors similar to those we have cited here. 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 DANAHER CORP is rather high; currently it is at 58.68%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 13.56% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $1,094.00 million or 10.31% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, DANAHER CORP has also modestly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 4.02%.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: DHR

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7. Reynolds American Inc. (RAI)

Rating: Buy, A+
Market Cap: $65.8 billion
Year-to-date return: -28.36%

Reynolds American Inc., through its subsidiaries, manufactures and sells cigarettes and other tobacco products in the United States. It operates through RJR Tobacco, American Snuff, and Santa Fe segments.

TheStreet Ratings team rates REYNOLDS AMERICAN INC as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

We rate REYNOLDS AMERICAN INC (RAI) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance, compelling growth in net income, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.

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

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 14.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 11.1%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 267.39% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 53.99% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. Turning to the future, naturally, any stock can fall in a major bear market. However, in almost any other environment, the stock should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed nice gains in the past year.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Tobacco industry. The net income increased by 291.9% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $492.00 million to $1,928.00 million.
  • The gross profit margin for REYNOLDS AMERICAN INC is rather high; currently it is at 55.93%. Regardless of RAI's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, RAI's net profit margin of 80.23% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • Net operating cash flow has slightly increased to -$632.00 million or 3.80% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow, REYNOLDS AMERICAN INC's cash flow growth rate is still lower than the industry average growth rate of 41.43%.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: RAI
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6. Costco Wholesale Corporation (COST - Get Report)

Rating: Buy, A+
Market Cap: $65.6 billion
Year-to-date return: 5.71%

Costco Wholesale Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, operates membership warehouses. The company offers branded and private-label products in a range of merchandise categories.

TheStreet Ratings team rates COSTCO WHOLESALE CORP as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

We rate COSTCO WHOLESALE CORP (COST) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, growth in earnings per share, increase in net income, notable return on equity and solid stock price performance. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

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

  • COST's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 3.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 0.7%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • COSTCO WHOLESALE CORP has improved earnings per share by 9.5% 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, COSTCO WHOLESALE CORP increased its bottom line by earning $5.37 versus $4.66 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($5.64 versus $5.37).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Food & Staples Retailing industry. The net income increased by 10.0% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $697.00 million to $767.00 million.
  • Current return on equity exceeded its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of strength within the company. Compared to other companies in the Food & Staples Retailing industry and the overall market, COSTCO WHOLESALE CORP's return on equity exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The stock has not only risen over the past year, it has done so at a faster pace than the S&P 500, reflecting the earnings growth and other positive factors similar to those we have cited here. 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.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: COST

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5. Lowe's Companies, Inc. (LOW - Get Report)

Rating: Buy, A+
Market Cap: $66.7 billion
Year-to-date return: 4.71%

Lowe's Companies, Inc. operates as a home improvement retailer. The company offers products for maintenance, repair, remodeling, and home decorating.

TheStreet Ratings team rates LOWE'S COMPANIES INC as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

We rate LOWE'S COMPANIES INC (LOW) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, increase in net income, revenue growth 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:

  • 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 34.65% over the past year, a rise that has exceeded that of the S&P 500 Index. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, LOW should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
  • LOWE'S COMPANIES 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, LOWE'S COMPANIES INC increased its bottom line by earning $2.70 versus $2.13 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($3.29 versus $2.70).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has greatly exceeded that of the S&P 500, but is less than that of the Specialty Retail industry average. The net income increased by 8.4% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $1,039.00 million to $1,126.00 million.
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 9.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 4.5%. 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. In comparison to other companies in the Specialty Retail industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, LOWE'S COMPANIES INC has underperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has greatly exceeded that of the S&P 500.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: LOW
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4. NIKE, Inc. (NKE - Get Report)

Rating: Buy, A+
Market Cap: $107.2 billion
Year-to-date return: 30.88%

NIKE, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, designs, develops, markets, and sells athletic footwear, apparel, equipment, and accessories for men, women, and kids worldwide.

TheStreet Ratings team rates NIKE INC as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

We rate NIKE INC (NKE) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, revenue growth and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

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

  • 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 40.61% over the past year, a rise that has exceeded that of the S&P 500 Index. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, NKE should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
  • NIKE INC has improved earnings per share by 22.9% 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, NIKE INC increased its bottom line by earning $3.70 versus $2.98 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($4.30 versus $3.70).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has greatly exceeded that of the S&P 500, but is less than that of the Textiles, Apparel & Luxury Goods industry average. The net income increased by 22.6% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $962.00 million to $1,179.00 million.
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 14.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 5.4%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • NKE's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.09 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. To add to this, NKE has a quick ratio of 1.69, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: NKE

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3. Home Depot, Inc. (HD - Get Report)

Rating: Buy, A+
Market Cap: $154.4 billion
Year-to-date return: 14.58%

The Home Depot, Inc. operates as a home improvement retailer.

TheStreet Ratings team rates HOME DEPOT INC as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

We rate HOME DEPOT INC (HD) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share, increase in net income, revenue growth 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:

  • 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 28.66% over the past year, a rise that has exceeded that of the S&P 500 Index. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, HD should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
  • HOME DEPOT INC has improved earnings per share by 13.8% 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, HOME DEPOT INC increased its bottom line by earning $4.72 versus $3.75 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($5.31 versus $4.72).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has greatly exceeded that of the S&P 500, but is less than that of the Specialty Retail industry average. The net income increased by 9.0% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $2,050.00 million to $2,234.00 million.
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 9.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 4.3%. 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 Specialty Retail industry and the overall market, HOME DEPOT INC's return on equity significantly exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: HD

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2. Accenture plc (ACN - Get Report)

Rating: Buy, A+
Market Cap: $64.2 billion
Year-to-date return: 14.69%

Accenture plc provides management consulting, technology, and business process outsourcing services worldwide.

TheStreet Ratings team rates ACCENTURE PLC as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

We rate ACCENTURE PLC (ACN) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. 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, solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share and increase in net income. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

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

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 21.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 1.2%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • ACN's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.00 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Along with the favorable debt-to-equity ratio, the company maintains an adequate quick ratio of 1.18, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • 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 31.52% over the past year, a rise that has exceeded that of the S&P 500 Index. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, ACN should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
  • ACCENTURE PLC has improved earnings per share by 6.5% 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 year. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, ACCENTURE PLC increased its bottom line by earning $4.76 versus $4.52 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($5.20 versus $4.76).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the IT Services industry. The net income increased by 5.2% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $701.02 million to $737.63 million.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: ACN

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1. JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM - Get Report)

Rating: Buy, A+
Market Cap: $221.8 billion
Year-to-date return: -4.14%

JPMorgan Chase & Co. provides various financial services worldwide. The company operates through four segments: Consumer & Community Banking, Corporate & Investment Bank, Commercial Banking, and Asset Management.

TheStreet Ratings team rates JPMORGAN CHASE & CO as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

We rate JPMORGAN CHASE & CO (JPM) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in stock price during the past year, growth in earnings per share, increase in net income, expanding profit margins and attractive valuation levels. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook.

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

  • 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.
  • JPMORGAN CHASE & CO has improved earnings per share by 23.5% 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, JPMORGAN CHASE & CO increased its bottom line by earning $5.29 versus $4.32 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($5.82 versus $5.29).
  • The company, on the basis of net income growth from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly outperformed against the S&P 500 and exceeded that of the Commercial Banks industry average. The net income increased by 22.1% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $5,572.00 million to $6,804.00 million.
  • The gross profit margin for JPMORGAN CHASE & CO is currently very high, coming in at 89.85%. Regardless of JPM's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, JPM's net profit margin of 27.66% compares favorably to the industry average.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: JPM