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Stock Upgrades, Downgrades From Ratings

Lifestyle media company Gaiam (GAIA) has been upgraded to a buy from a hold. The company has a pattern of positive EPS growth over the past two years, a trend that should continue. Its net income increased 96.85% in the first quarter of 2007 compared with the same period last year, exceeding that of the S&P 500 and the Internet and catalog retail industry.

The company has no debt to speak of, and its quick ratio, the ratio of cash, marketable securities and accounts receivable divided by current liablities, of 4.30 demonstrates its ability to cover short-term cash needs. Gaiam had been rated a hold since November 2006.

Semtech (SMTC) produces and markets mixed-signal semiconductors. It has been upgraded to a buy from a hold. It has a debt-to-equity ratio of zero, and expanding profit margins. The company's stock price has increased by 42.09% over the past year, making it somewhat expensive compared with the rest of its industry. Given its strengths, the higher price is justified.

Although Semtech has seen a declining pattern of EPS over the past two years, Ratings expects this to reverse over the coming year. It had been rated a hold since May 2006. Ratings has initiated coverage of the business development company Technology Investment Capital (TICC) with a buy rating. The company's revenue increased 37.30% in the first quarter of 2007 compared with the same period last year, exceeding the industry average of 6.3%. It's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.21 is below the industry average, implying very successful management of debt levels. The stock has risen 12.46% over the past year, lagging the S&P 500, but it still shows good upside potential.

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