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TheStreet Ratings Top 10 Rating Changes

NEW YORK ( TheStreet Ratings) -- Every trading day TheStreet Ratings' stock model reviews the investment ratings on around 4,700 U.S. traded stocks for potential upgrades or downgrades based on the latest available financial results and trading activity.

TheStreet Ratings released rating changes on 77 U.S. common stocks for week ending August 31, 2012. 44 stocks were upgraded and 33 stocks were downgraded by our stock model.

Rating Change #10

Esterline Technologies (ESL) has been downgraded by TheStreet Ratings from buy to hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, deteriorating net income and disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 3.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 18.7%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is somewhat low, currently at 0.61, and is less than that of the industry average, implying that there has been a relatively successful effort in the management of debt levels. Along with the favorable debt-to-equity ratio, the company maintains an adequate quick ratio of 1.38, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • ESTERLINE TECHNOLOGIES CORP has exprienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, ESTERLINE TECHNOLOGIES CORP increased its bottom line by earning $4.27 versus $4.25 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($4.88 versus $4.27).
  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Aerospace & Defense industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 145.4% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $37.70 million to -$17.10 million.
  • Current return on equity is lower than its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of weakness within the company. In comparison to the other companies in the Aerospace & Defense industry and the overall market, ESTERLINE TECHNOLOGIES CORP's return on equity is significantly below that of the industry average and is below that of the S&P 500.

Esterline Technologies Corporation designs, manufactures, and markets engineered products and systems for aerospace and defense customers primarily in the United States and internationally. The company has a P/E ratio of 13, equal to the average aerospace/defense industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Esterline has a market cap of $1.6 billion and is part of the industrial goods sector and aerospace/defense industry. Shares are down 7.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

You can view the full Esterline Ratings Report or get investment ideas from our investment research center.
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