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TSC Ratings' Updates: FirstMerit

We've downgraded Seaspan (SSW - Get Report) from hold to sell, driven by its deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity, generally weak debt management, generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself and feeble growth in its earnings per share.

Net income fell from -$20 million in the year-ago quarter to -$241.9 million in the most-recent quarter. ROE also decreased, and EPS are down, though the consensus estimate suggests that the company's two-year trend of declining EPS should reverse in the coming year. Seaspan's debt-to-equity ratio is 2.3, which is higher than the industry average. Its quick ratio is 5.8.

Shares have tumbled 74.9% over the past year, underperforming the S&P 500. Naturally, the overall market trend is bound to be a significant factor. However, in one sense, the stock's sharp decline last year is a positive for future investors, making it cheaper (in proportion to its earnings over the past year) than most other stocks in its industry. But due to other concerns, we feel the stock is still not a good buy right now.

All ratings changes from April 30 are listed below.

Ticker
Company
Current
Change
Previous
ACTL
Actel
HOLD
Upgrade
SELL
ADTN
Adtran
BUY
Upgrade
HOLD
AIQ
Alliance Healthcare Services
BUY
Upgrade
HOLD
AME
Ametek
BUY
Upgrade
HOLD
ARG
Airgas
BUY
Upgrade
HOLD
ARW
Arrow Electronics
HOLD
Upgrade
SELL
CPL
CPFL Energia
BUY
Upgrade
HOLD
DAAT
DAC Technologies
HOLD
Upgrade
SELL
DAI
Daimler
SELL
Downgrade
HOLD
EBS
Emergent Biosolutions
SELL
Downgrade
HOLD
EDUC
Educational Development
BUY
Upgrade
HOLD
EJ
E-House China Holdings
HOLD
Upgrade
SELL
ENTR
Entropic Communications
HOLD
Upgrade
SELL
EQR
Equity Residential
HOLD
Upgrade
SELL
FMER
FirstMerit
BUY
Upgrade
HOLD
HSP
Hospira
BUY
Upgrade
HOLD
IFF
International Flavors & Fragrances
BUY
Upgrade
HOLD
ISLE
Isle of Capri Casinos
HOLD
Upgrade
SELL
MKTX
MarketAxess Holdings
BUY
Upgrade
HOLD
MXB
MSCI
HOLD
Upgrade
SELL
OPLK
Oplink Communications
HOLD
Upgrade
SELL
PDO
Pyramid Oil
HOLD
Downgrade
BUY
QSFT
Quest Software
BUY
Upgrade
HOLD
RMG
RiskMetrics Group
HOLD
Upgrade
SELL
SGU
Star Gas Partners
HOLD
Upgrade
SELL
SSW
Seaspan
SELL
Downgrade
HOLD
TLK
Telekomunikasi Indonesia
BUY
Upgrade
HOLD
TPI
Tianyin Pharmaceutical
HOLD
Upgrade
SELL
UHS
Universal Health Services
BUY
Upgrade
HOLD
UHT
Universal Health Realty Income
BUY
Upgrade
HOLD

Note: Our quantitative model makes stock recommendations based on GAAP figures that may differ materially from data as reported by the companies themselves. As a result, rating changes are occasionally driven by so-called nonrecurring items. As always, we urge readers to use TSC Ratings' reports in conjunction with additional information to construct their opinions on the value that should be placed on any given stock.

TheStreet.com Ratings, recently cited for Best Stock Selection from October 2007 through February 2009 , is an independent research provider that combines fundamental and technical analysis to offer investors tremendous value in volatile times. To see how your portfolio can use this research, click here now!

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