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TSC Ratings' Updates: NuStar

Stocks in this article: NS ECL BAK

The following ratings changes were generated on Monday, Jan. 12.

We've downgraded Braksem (BAK), an integrated petrochemical cracker and thermoplastics producer in Brazil and Europe, from hold to sell, driven by its deteriorating net income, generally weak debt management, disappointing return on equity, weak operating cash flow and poor profit margins.

Net income decreased from $83.3 million in the year-ago quarter to -$491.2 million. The debt-to-equity ratio of 1.7 is quite high overall and compared with the industry average, and the 0.8 quick ratio is poor, illustrating an inability to avoid short-term cash problems. Return on equity has greatly decreased since the year-ago quarter, underperforming both the industry and the S&P 500. Net operating cash flow fell 21.2% to $186 million, and Braksem's gross profit margin of 19.4% is rather low, though it did increase from the same period last year. The company's net profit margin of -28.2% significantly underper4formed the industry average.

We've downgraded financial holding company BOK Financial (BOKF) from buy to hold. Strengths include its expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. However, we also find weaknesses including a decline in the stock price during the past year, disappointing return on equity and feeble growth in the company's earnings per share.

BOK's gross profit margin of 61.7% is rather high, having increased since the same quarter last year, and it's net profit margin of 14.3% outperforms the industry average. Net operating cash flow rose 32.8% to $137.8 million since the year-ago quarter, though BOK is still growing at a significantly lower rate than the industry average of 117.5%. Revenue dropped 3.4%, underperforming the industry average of 8.3%, and return on equity decreased slightly, implying a minor weakness in the organization.

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