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Stock Upgrades, Downgrades from TheStreet.com Ratings

Genesco (GCO), an apparel, footwear and accessories retailer, has been downgraded to a hold. While the company holds a largely solid financial position with reasonable debt and valuation levels and revenue growth, it is also contending with deteriorating net income, disappointing stock performance and unsatisfactory return on equity.

The company swung to a second-quarter loss of $4.2 million, or 19 cents a share, compared with income of $5.9 million, or 24 cents a share, a year ago. (Genesco reports third-quarter results Nov. 29.) The results include expenses of 13 cents a share from the proposed merger with a subsidiary of Finish Line (FINL).

Revenue increased 8% to $328 million. UBS (UBS) petitioned a Tennessee court last week to relieve it from its obligation to finance Finish Line's $1.5 billion merger buyout of Genesco. Current return on equity is lower than a year ago, a clear sign of weakness within the company. Genesco had been rated a buy since November 2005.

Akamai Technologies (AKAM), an Internet infrastructure company, has been upgraded to a buy. The company maintains a largely solid financial position with reasonable debt and valuation levels, and growth in revenue, EPS and net income. These strengths outweigh the stock's lackluster performance.

Third-quarter profit rose 73% to $24.3 million, or 13 cents a share. Adjusted for some items, net income grew 49% year over year to $62.4 million, or 34 cents a share. Revenue grew 45% year over year to $161.2 million. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial had forecast earnings of 33 cents on revenue of $161 million.

This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently, but, TheStreet.com Ratings believes it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. Although Akamai's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.16 is very low, it is currently higher than that of the industry average. Akamai Technologies had been rated a hold since October.

Synovus Financial (SNV), a financial services company, has been downgraded to a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in several areas, such as its revenue growth, expanding profit margins and reasonable valuation levels.

However, Synovus has also struggled with a generally disappointing stock performance, unimpressive growth in net income and weak operating cash flow. Third-quarter earnings slipped 8% to $142.1 million, or 43 cents a share.

The company said recently that it recorded a $12 million charge connected to a settlement between Visa and American Express (AXP) and third-quarter earnings were reduced by $7.1 million, or 2 cents a share. Net operating cash flow has decreased to $167.06 million or 43.2% from a year ago. Synovus Financial had been rated a buy since November 2005.

Additional ratings changes are listed below.

Stock Upgrades, Downgrades
TickerCompany NameChangeNew RatingFormer Rating
ACTGAcacia ResearchDowngradeSellHold
AKAMAkamai TechnologiesUpgradeBuyHold
BSRRSierra BancorpUpgradeBuyHold
CCBGCapital City BankDowngradeHoldBuy
WSIIWaste ServicesDowngradeSellHold
CACBCascade BancorpDowngradeHoldBuy
RBISport Supply GroupUpgradeBuyHold
CMCSAComcastDowngradeHoldBuy
CMCSKComcastDowngradeHoldBuy
CSGSCSG SystemsDowngradeHoldBuy
CTSCTSDowngradeHoldBuy
GCOGenescoDowngradeHoldBuy
GSIGGSI GroupDowngradeHoldBuy
HEMAHemacareDowngradeSellHold
NUTRNutraceuticalDowngradeHoldBuy
PHIIPHIDowngradeHoldBuy
PETMPetsmartDowngradeHoldBuy
RMTRRamtron InternationalUpgradeBuyHold
STTSStats ChippacUpgradeBuyHold
SNVSynovus FinancialDowngradeHoldBuy
SIMCSimclairDowngradeHoldBuy
PEDSmartprosUpgradeBuyHold
NAHCNational Atlantic HoldingsDowngradeSellHold
VLCMVolcomDowngradeSellHold
UAUnder ArmourUpgradeBuyHold
DHTDouble Hull TankersDowngradeSellHold
BKCBurger King HoldingsUpgradeHoldSell
LMATLeMaitre VascularInitiationHoldn/a
FMRFirst Mercury FinancialInitiationHoldn/a
TRBNTrubion PharmaceuticalsInitiationSelln/a
SUSSSusser HoldingsInitiationHoldn/a
SXEStanleyInitiationHoldn/a
Source: TheStreet.com Ratings

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