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TheStreet Open House

TSC Ratings' Updates: Diamond Foods

Shares are up 54% over the past year, outperforming the S&P 500 during the same period. We feel that the stock's sharp appreciation over the last year has driven it to a price level which is now somewhat expensive compared to the rest of its industry. The other strengths this company shows, however, justify the higher price levels.

We've upgraded Himax Technologies (HIMX), which engages in the design, development and marketing of semiconductors that are used as components of flat panel displays, from sell to hold. Strengths include the company's largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, attractive valuation levels and notable return on equity. However, we also find weaknesses including feeble growth in the company's earnings per share, poor profit margins and weak operating cash flow.

The company has a quick ratio of 3.5, which implies strong liquidity. Revenue fell 53.5% since the year-ago quarter, and EPS decreased. We anticipate that the company's yearlong trend fo declining EPS should continue in the coming year. The 23.6% gross profit margin has decreased from the year-ago quarter.

We've downgraded Oppenheimer Holdings (OPY) , which provides various financial services to high-net-worth individuals and families, corporate executives and small and mid-sized businesses worldwide, from hold to sell. This rating is driven by the company's feeble growth in its earnings per share, disappointing return on equity, poor profit margins and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

EPS declined in the most recent quarter compared with the same quarter a year ago. Return on equity also decreased, which could imply weakness in the corporation. The gross profit margin of 0.7% has decreased from the same period last year. Net income decreased from $26.5 million in the year-ago quarter to -$3.8 million.

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