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Stock Upgrades, Downgrades From Ratings

Medical products manufacturer Inverness (IMA) has been upgraded to a buy from a hold. The company makes pregnancy and fertility tests, among other products.

The company's revenue grew by 24.4% in the first quarter of fiscal 2007 compared with the year-earlier period, outpacing the industry average of 10.7%. Inverness was also profitable in the most recent quarter, earnings 14 cents per share after losing 9 cents per share in the first quarter of 2006. Debt levels are low and the company seems to be in a largely solid financial position.

These positives seems to have pushed the stock price higher; shares are up 69.4% in the past 12 months. IMA had been rated a hold since May 2007.

Radiation Therapy Services (RTSX) has been downgraded to a hold from a buy. The company owns and operates radiation treatment centers. Ratings feels the company has not been very careful in the management of its balance sheet. RTSX has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.5, which is relatively high when compared with the industry average. The company had been rated a buy since December 2006.

Redwood Trust (RWT) has been downgraded to a sell from a hold. The company invests in residential and commercial real estate loans and in securities backed by real estate loans. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its feeble growth in its earnings per share, deteriorating net income, weak operating cash flow and disappointing return on equity. Redwood Trust's 12.9 debt-to-equity ratio is higher than the industry average. RWT had been rated a hold since June 2005.

Some recent rating changes are highlighted below. Ratings Stock Upgrades, Downgrades
Company Name Ticker Change New Rating Former Rating
CRA International CRAI Downgrade Hold Buy
Copel-CIA ELP Upgrade Buy Hold
Golden Star Resources GSS Downgrade Hold Buy
Inverness Medical IMA Upgrade Buy Hold
Redwood Trust RWT Downgrade Sell Hold
Radiation Therapy RTSX Downgrade Hold Buy
Hurray Holding HRAY Downgrade Sell Hold
Bank of the Carolinas BCAR Downgrade Hold Buy
Source: Ratings

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