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TheStreet Open House

TSC Ratings' Updates: Marathon Oil

Revenue rose by 30.2% since the same quarter last year, and EPS improved by 30.8%. However, we anticipate underperformance in the coming year relative to the company's yearlong pattern of positive EPS growth. Starent has no debt to speak of and a quick ratio or 2.3, which demonstrates its ability to cover short-term liquidity needs. Net operating cash flow fell 59.2% to $23.3 million compared with the same quarter last year.

We've upgraded Vectren (VVC) from hold to buy, driven by its increase in net income, growth in earnings per share, notable return on equity and relatively strong performance when compared with the S&P 500 during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

Net income increased by 13.8% since the year-ago quarter, from $64 million to $72.8 million. EPS improved by 7.1%, and we feel the company is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. Revenue fell by 11.9% compared with the year-ago quarter. ROE slightly decreased but exceeds that of the industry average and the S&P 500.

Shares are down 23.1% over the past year, in part reflecting the market's overall decline. The fact that the stock has come down in price over the past year should not necessarily be interpreted as a negative; it is one of the factors that makes this stock an attractive investment.

All ratings changes from June 9 are listed below.

Ticker
Company
Current
Change
Previous
ADY
American Dairy
BUY
Initiated
BKH
Black Hills
HOLD
Downgrade
BUY
CFX
Colfax
SELL
Initiated
CNBKA
Century Bancorp
BUY
Upgrade
HOLD
COKE
Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated
BUY
Upgrade
HOLD
COV
Covidien
HOLD
Upgrade
SELL
ELC
Eastern Light Capital
HOLD
Upgrade
SELL
EXPD
Expeditors International
HOLD
Downgrade
BUY
FIGIU
Fortress International Group
SELL
Initiated
FMR
First Mercury Financial
HOLD
Upgrade
SELL
HHS
Harte Hanks
HOLD
Upgrade
SELL
HWG
Hallwood Group
HOLD
Upgrade
SELL
LOOP
LoopNet
HOLD
Upgrade
SELL
MRO
Marathon Oil
BUY
Upgrade
HOLD
PRCP
Perceptron
SELL
Downgrade
HOLD
RSG
Republic Services
BUY
Upgrade
HOLD
RSOL
Real Goods Solar
SELL
Initiated
SAL
Salisbury Bancorp
HOLD
Upgrade
SELL
STAR
Starent Networks
HOLD
Downgrade
BUY
VVC
Vectren
BUY
Upgrade
HOLD
WHLM
Wilhelmina International
SELL
Downgrade
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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