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Amtrust, Rockwell Collins: Ratings Changes

Stocks in this article: AFSI CHDN COL

The stock: Rockwell Collins has increased 19% this year, more than the Dow and S&P 500. The stock trades at a price-to-earnings ratio of 12, which is a sizable discount to the market, but equal to aerospace and defense peers. The shares offer a 2% dividend yield.

The model upgraded GSE Systems (GVP), a software provider for energy and chemical companies, to "buy."

The numbers: The company swung to a second-quarter profit of $600,000, or 3 cents a share, from a loss of $300,000, or 2 cents, in the year-earlier period. Its gross margin fell from 29% to 25% and its operating margin climbed from negative territory to 6%. GSE has an ideal financial position, with no debt and ample cash reserves, reflected by a quick ratio of 2.1.

The stock: GSE Systems is up 17% this year, beating the Dow and S&P 500. The stock trades at a price-to-earnings ratio of 149 because of its inconsistent profits. That's higher than the average for the market and application software peers. The company doesn't pay dividends.

The model upgraded Urstadt Biddle Properties (UBA), a real estate investment trust that specializes in retail, to "buy."

The numbers: Second-quarter net income fell 3% to $7.4 million, but earnings per share remained steady at 16 cents due to a lower share count. Revenue increased 4% to $21 million. Its gross and operating margins fell from 45% to 41%. The REIT has weak liquidity, with just $3.4 million of reserves, compared to $109 million of debt. A debt-to-equity ratio of 0.3 is less than the industry average and indicates modest leverage.

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