#29. Bank of America (BAC)
Bank of America spent much of 2009 rated "sell" but was recently upgraded to "hold" as volatility has eased and earnings are improving. The outsized debt-to-equity ratio drags on the stock's rating, but the bank's efforts to improve its leverage level have helped with the upgrade. If the share price stabilizes, another upgrade is possible.
Changes to the capital structure can take a long time to iron out, so the financial-strength score is likely to stay depressed for a while. The stock's gain of 126% during the past year has helped the rating, but not enough to outweigh risks.
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