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Cooper, M&T Bank: Ratings Changes

TheStreet.com 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) -- TheStreet.com's stock-rating model upgraded Cooper (COO), a maker of contact lenses and medical devices, to "buy."

The numbers: Fiscal third-quarter profit increased 23% to $22 million, or 48 cents a share, as revenue grew 2% to $285 million. Cooper's gross margin fell from 62% to 59%, but its operating margin rose from 11% to 14%. A quick ratio of 0.8 demonstrates less-than-ideal liquidity. A debt-to-equity ratio of 0.6 indicates reasonable leverage.

The stock: Cooper has advanced 89% this year, more than major U.S. indices. The stock trades at a price-to-earnings ratio of 14, a discount to the market and health care supply peers. Shares pay a 0.2% dividend yield.

The model upgraded Manhattan Associates (MANH), a designer of supply-chain software, to "buy."

The numbers: Third-quarter net income jumped 155% to $11 million and earnings per share surged 178% to 50 cents, boosted by a lower share count. Revenue fell 21% to $65 million. Manhattan's gross margin rose from 54% to 59% and its operating margin increased from 10% to 17%. The company has an ideal financial position, with $103 million of cash and no debt.

The stock: Manhattan Associates is up 42% this year, beating major U.S. indices. The stock trades at a price-to-earnings ratio of 40, a premium to the market and application software peers. The company doesn't pay dividends.

The model upgraded M&T Bank (MTB) to "buy."

The numbers: Third-quarter net income increased 40% to $128 million and earnings per share climbed 18% to 97 cents, restrained by a higher share count. Revenue grew 7% to $979 million. M&T's gross margin rose from 55% to 69% and its operating margin increased from 19% to 37%. The company is adequately capitalized, with $1.4 billion of cash reserves. A debt-to-equity ratio of 1.7 indicates higher-than-ideal leverage.

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