Each weekday, TheStreet.com Ratings updates its ratings on the stocks it covers. The proprietary ratings model projects a stock's total return potential over a 12-month period, including price appreciation and dividends. Buy, hold or sell ratings designate how the Ratings group expects these stocks to perform against a general benchmark of the equities market and interest rates.
While the ratings model is quantitative, it uses both subjective and objective elements. For instance, subjective elements include expected equities market returns, future interest rates, implied industry outlook and company earnings forecasts. Objective elements include volatility of past operating revenue, financial strength and company cash flows.
( CBTE) provides life-sciences research-and-development outsourcing services to the biotech industry, as well as to academic institutions, government agencies and pharmaceutical companies. It has been upgraded to hold from sell. The factors affecting the rating are mixed -- some indicating strength, others showing weaknesses.
Its debt-to-equity ratio of 0.41 is below the industry average, implying successful management of debt level. Commonwealth's share price has increased 25.64% in the past year despite weak earnings growth during the last quarter. At the same time, net income decreased 76.2% in the first quarter of 2007 compared with the same period last year, and return on equity went down 13.74% during the same period. It had been rated a sell since May 2006.
Aluminum products manufacturer
Cathay Merchant Group
has also been upgraded to hold from sell. Net income swung to a profit of $280,000 in the first quarter of 2007 from a loss of $540,000 a year earlier. Revenue increased 31.5% during the same period, compared with the industry average of 35.4%.
Cathay's debt-to-equity ratio of 1.19 is relatively high when compared with the industry average. Even though its stock price has increased 12.82% in the last 12 months, there is currently no conclusive evidence that warrants the purchase or sale of this stock. Cathay Merchant Group had been rated a sell since coverage was initiated in July 2005.
develops and commercializes mechanism-targeted drugs to treat human cancers and other serious disorders. It has been downgraded to sell from hold. Revenue for the first quarter of 2007 was down 65.57% compared with the same period 12 months ago; TheStreet.com Ratings sees this as the company's primary weakness.
Its stock price has decreased 9.24% over the past year, while return on equity declined 29.94% during the first quarter compared with the same period last year. It had been rated a hold since coverage was initiated in May 2007.
Double Hull Tankers
, which operates a shipping fleet and has been upgraded to a hold from a sell. The company's return on equity greatly exceeds that of the both the
and the industry average. Its gross profit margin in the first quarter, 76.40%, is very high, even though it has decreased from the first quarter of last year.
However, its revenue fell 16.4% in the first quarter over the year-earlier period, a weakness that seems to have trickled down to the bottom line, as EPS decreased 38.47% over the same period. In addition, Double Hull's debt-to-equity ratio of 2.45 is above the industry average, suggesting very poor management of debt levels. It had been rated a sell since coverage was initiated in February 2007.
sells and delivers pizza, primarily in the U.S., through its Domino's Inc. subsidiary. It has been upgraded to hold from sell. TheStreet.com Ratings see mixed indicators, some indicating strength, others showing weakness, with little to justify the expectation of either positive or negative performance for its stock relative to most other stock.
Its strengths include its solid financial position on the basis of a variety of debt and liquidity measures. Domino's revenue dropped 2.4% in the first quarter of 2007 compared with the same period last year. This seems to have affected earnings per share, which declined 66.67% for the quarter, continuing a trend of somewhat volatile earnings of late. The company is likely to report another decline in the coming year. Domino's had been rated a sell since August 2005.
TheStreet.com Ratings has initiated coverage of
, which designs and manufactures nickel- and cobalt-based alloys. It has been rated a hold. The company posted EPS growth of 68.04% in the second quarter of 2007 compared with the same period last year, continuing a pattern of positive EPS growth over the past two years. Net income also increased 74.8% during the same period, to $17.40 million from $9.96 million.
Haynes' stock has grown 159.12% over the past year, making it relatively expensive compared with the rest of its industry. Haynes's reduced upside potential is not good enough to warrant further investment at this time.
has been upgraded to a buy from a hold. The company's revenue increased 53.9% in the first quarter of 2007 compared with the same period last year, exceeding the industry average of 6.8%. Its return on equity improved by 31.39% during the same period, and its debt-to-equity ratio of 0.02 is beneath that of the industry average, implying very successful management of debt levels.
Intevac also has a gross profit margin of 44.50%, and a net profit margin of 12.90%, both of which are above that of the industry average. It had been rated a hold since May 2007.
has been downgraded to hold from buy. While the downgrade reflects expected pressure on margins that the company may experience in the near term, TheStreet.com Ratings expect long-term benefits from the company's expansion and other strategic initiatives. Poor near-term earnings are anticipated because of the effects of high gas prices, raised commodity prices and weaker consumer spending. Panera's margins are also expected to be negatively pressured because of a shift away from products made in fresh-dough facilities.
In consideration of expected soft sales, competition and cost pressures, the company cut its projected EPS for the second quarter to between 38 cents and 40 cents from 47 cents to 51 cents previously. Panera has pursued growth through acquisitions recently, and it continues to emphasize healthier dining options that include antibiotic-free chicken, whole-grain bread and organic menu items with lower or no trans-fats. It had been rated a buy since July 2007.
engages in the property and casualty insurance, furniture rental and steel service center businesses. It has been downgraded to hold from buy. Wesco has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.02, which is below that of the industry average, and its first-quarter gross profit margin of 68.70% was up over the year-earlier period.
However, the company's return on equity of 3.79% was down on the year, a clear sign of weakness in the company. Revenue also decreased by 1.87% over the same period, compared with the average growth for the industry of 45.2%. Wesco had been rated a buy since March 2007.