Each weekday, TheStreet.com Ratings updates its ratings on the stocks it covers. The proprietary ratings model projects a stock's total return potential over a 12-month period, including price appreciation and dividends. Buy, hold or sell ratings designate how the Ratings group expects these stocks to perform against a general benchmark of the equities market and interest rates.
While the ratings model is quantitative, it uses both subjective and objective elements. For instance, subjective elements include expected equities market returns, future interest rates, implied industry outlook and company earnings forecasts. Objective elements include volatility of past operating revenue, financial strength and company cash flows.
Savings and loan holding company Anchor Bancorp (ABCW) has been downgraded to a hold from a buy. In the past year, its stock price has fallen 6.0%, in part reflecting the company's declining EPS. In the fourth quarter of the company's fiscal-year 2006, EPS declined 28.3% over the year-earlier period, continuing a two-year pattern. The stock's decline could be one of the factors that make the stock attractive down the road. However, TheStreet.com Ratings believes that it is too soon to buy. Anchor Bancorp had been rated a buy since November 2006.
Terremark Worldwide (TMRK) operates Internet exchange points for collocation, interconnection and managed services to government and commercial sectors. It has been upgraded to a hold from a sell. The company's revenue rose 61.4% in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2006 compared with the year-earlier period. This helped boost EPS, which grew 80.0% over the same period, and has helped the stock price appreciate by 89.6% over the past 12 months. The company shows a gross profit margin of 43.1%, and its return on equity of 18.1% over the last 12 months is a sign of significant strength within the organization. Terremark had been rated a sell since June 2005.The9 Limited (NCTY) is an online game operator primarily concentrated on the development and operation of massively multiplayer online role-playing games for the Chinese market. It has been upgraded to a buy from a hold. The company's revenue growth of 32.1% in the first quarter of 2007 compared with the same period a year earlier outpaced the industry average. This revenue growth appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving EPS by 13.3% over the same period. This company's stock rose 85.3% over the past 12 months, and should continue to move higher. The9 Limited had been rated a hold since TheStreet.com Ratings initiated coverage in October 2006.