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TSC Ratings' Updates: XTO Energy

TSC Ratings provides exclusive stock, ETF and mutual fund ratings and commentary based on award-winning, proprietary tools. Its "safety first" approach to investing aims to reduce risk while seeking solid outperformance on a total return basis.

The following ratings changes were generated on Friday, May 15.

We've downgraded Avery Dennison (AVY - Get Report) from hold to sell, driven by its feeble growth in its earnings per share, deteriorating net income, generally weak debt management, disappointing return on equity and poor profit margins.

Avery's 1.8 debt-to-equity ratio is high compared with the industry average, and the company has a quick ratio of 0.5. Its return on equity has decreased from the year-ago quarter, as has its 28.3% gross profit margin. Net profit margin of -64% is below the industry average. Net operating cash flow fell 71.4% to $16 million compared with the same quarter last year, and EPS also declined. EPS have declined over the past two years, a trend we anticipate to continue.

We've upgraded Bemis (BMS - Get Report) from hold to buy, driven by its good cash flow from operations, notable return on equity and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

Net operating cash flow increased 166.8% to $148.3 million compared with the same quarter last year. ROE has improved, and revenue fell by 11%. EPS also decreased. Bemis' debt-to-equity ratio of 0.5 is above the industry average. Its quick ratio is 1.1. Net income decreased by 13.3% from the year-ago quarter, from $42.3 million to $36.7 million.

We've upgraded Seacor Holdings (CKH - Get Report) from hold to buy, driven by its revenue growth, attractive valuation levels, increase in net income, good cash flow from operations and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.
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