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Energy, Utilities Upgraded: Ratings Changes 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 total return performance.

BOSTON ( TheStreet) --'s stock-rating model upgraded Commerce Bancshares (CBSH - Get Report) to "buy."

The numbers: Second-quarter net income decreased 34% to $37 million and earnings per share fell 35% to 48 cents as revenue declined 3% to $295 million. The operating margin descended from 36% to 32% and the net margin dropped from 18% to 13%. Commerce has an adequate capital position, evident in its $424 million of reserves and tier-1 capital ratio of 11.4%. However, a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.2 is higher than ideal.

The stock: Commerce Bancshares has fallen 13% in 2009, underperforming major U.S. indices. The stock trades at a price-to-earnings ratio of 21, indicating a premium to the market, and offers a 2.5% dividend yield, less than the average of S&P 500 companies.

The model upgraded Motorcar Parts of America (MPAA - Get Report) to "hold."

The numbers: Fiscal first-quarter earnings dropped 60% to $1.2 million, or 10 cents a share, as revenue remained steady at $33 million. The operating margin deteriorated from 14% to 9% and the net margin fell from 9% to 4%. A quick ratio of 0.2 indicates weak liquidity. But the cash balance has doubled to $1.5 million since the year-earlier quarter. A debt-to-equity ratio of 0.3 reflects modest leverage.

The stock: Motorcar Parts has increased 31% in 2009, more than major U.S. indices. The stock trades at an expensive price-to-earnings ratio of 31 and doesn't pay dividends.

The model upgraded casino operator Penn National Gaming (PENN - Get Report) to "hold."

The numbers: Second-quarter net income decreased 23% to $29 million and earnings per share fell 36% to 27 cents as revenue declined 6% to $581 million. The operating margin declined from 18% to 15% and the net margin dropped from 6% to 5%. A quick ratio of 2 and $795 million of cash indicate ample liquidity. But a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.1 indicates higher-than-ideal leverage.
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TEG $0.00 0.00%
CBSH $45.88 0.48%
MPAA $38.83 -1.80%
PENN $16.01 -0.81%
WEC $49.53 0.94%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,798.49 -14.90 -0.08%
S&P 500 2,090.11 +1.24 0.06%
NASDAQ 5,127.5250 +11.3820 0.22%

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