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TSC Ratings' Updates: Beckman Coulter

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 Monday, June 1.

We've upgraded Beckman Coulter (BEC) from hold to buy, driven by its good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins 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 by 71.6% to $105.7 million compared with the year-ago quarter, and gross profit margin increased to 55.9%. Net profit margin, however, of 3% trails the industry average. Earnings per share declined by 49.2% in the most-recent quarter compared with the year-ago quarter, though we anticipate the company's yearlong pattern of declining EPS to reverse in the coming year. Revenue dropped by 5.3% compared with the same quarter last year. The debt-to-equity ratio of 0.6, though low, is above the industry average, and the quick ratio of 1.3 is sturdy.

We've upgraded BOK Financial (BOKF) from hold to buy, driven by its expanding profit margins and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

BOK's gross profit margin of 69.7% has increased from the same quarter last year. Revenue fell 9.7%, and EPS declined by 11.9%, though we anticipate the company's yearlong trend of declining EPS to reverse over the coming year. Net income fell 11.6% compared with the year-ago quarter, from $62.3 million to %55 million. Return on equity decreased from the year-go quarter, implying a minor weakness in the organization.

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