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Amcol, Exelon, Stratasys: Ratings Changes

Stocks in this article: ACO EXC MXWL

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 specialty-minerals company Amcol (ACO - Get Report) to "buy."

The numbers: Third-quarter profit multiplied seven times to $13 million, or 43 cents a share, as revenue fell 25% to $191 million. Amcol's gross margin rose from 29% to 34%, but its operating margin was unchanged at 11%. A quick ratio of 1.9 indicates adequate liquidity. A debt-to-equity ratio of 0.6 is below the industry average, demonstrating restrained leverage.

The stock: Amcol is up 39% this year, beating major U.S. indices. The stock trades at a price-to-earnings ratio of 38, a premium to the market and diversified metal and mining peers. Shares pay a 2.5% dividend yield.

The model downgraded electric utility Exelon (EXC - Get Report) to "hold."

The numbers: Third-quarter profit rose 8% to $757 million, or $1.14 a share, as revenue fell 17% to $4.3 billion. Excelon's gross margin jumped from 35% to 44% and its operating margin increased from 27% to 32%. A quick ratio of 1 reflects adequate liquidity. A debt-to-equity ratio of 1 indicates higher-than-ideal leverage.

The stock: Exelon has dropped 13% this year, lagging behind major U.S. indices. The stock trades at a price-to-earnings ratio of 12, a discount to the market and utility peers. Shares pay a 4.3% dividend yield.

The model upgraded Maxwell Technologies (MXWL - Get Report), a maker of energy-storage and power-delivery products, to "hold."

The numbers: The company's second-quarter loss widened 7% to $5.3 million, but the loss per share decreased due to a higher share count. Revenue grew 30% to $25 million. Maxwell's gross margin rose from 33% to 42% and its operating margin climbed from negative 21% to negative 4%. The company has an admirable financial position, with $32 million of cash and $19 million of debt.

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