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 both 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.
, a content delivery company, has been downgraded to hold. While the company enjoys a largely solid financial position with reasonable debt and valuation levels and robust revenue growth, return on equity and stock performance have both been disappointing. Second-quarter revenue climbed 52% to $152.7 million. The company's stock share price has done poorly compared with a year ago, falling 33.97%. Even with the heavy decline in its share price, this stock is still more expensive (when compared to its current earnings) than most other companies in its industry. Akamai Technologies had been rated buy since October 2005.
, which makes programmable chips, has been upgraded to hold. The company's financial position is solid, with reasonable debt levels, expanding profit margins and notable return on equity. However Lattice financial performance has also been marked by unimpressive growth in net income, weak operating cash flow and the performance of the stock price itself has also been generally disappointing. The company posted a second-quarter loss of $1.5 million, or 1 cent a share, compared with a profit of $2.1 million, or 2 cents a share, a year ago. The second-quarter loss was narrower than in the first quarter, however, and TheStreet.com Ratings believes the company is poised for earnings-per-share growth in the coming year. Lattice Semiconductor had been rated sell since April.
, which makes infant formula and other nutritional products, has been upgraded to buy. The Chinese company's financial position is largely solid with reasonable debt levels, good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins and a sound stock price performance. These strengths are expected to outweigh its sub-par net income growth. Second-quarter revenue increased 37%, higher than the industry average of 10.7%, to $67.5 million. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, however, as net income fell 33% to $5.3 million, or 11 cents a share. Synutra International was initiated in April with a hold rating.
, an integrated energy company, has been downgraded to hold. While the company enjoys a largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels and a solid stock performance, growth in net income has been unimpressive, profit margins poor and return on equity disappointing. The company's net profit for the first half of 2007 was 4.85 billion euros, or about $6.8 billion, down 8% from the first half of 2006. Results were hurt by the impact of the euro's appreciation against the dollar and lower gas sales due to exceptionally mild weather. Eni has reported volatile earnings recently, but TheStreet.com Ratings feels it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. Net income has underperformed compared with the industry average. Eni Spa had been rated hold since November 2006.
( MALL), an online computer and electronics retailer, has been upgraded to buy. The company has enjoyed a solid stock price performance, it is attractively valued and net income, revenue, and EPS are all growing. These strengths are expected to outweigh the company's low profit margins. PC Mall reported that second-quarter net income totaled $3 million, or 22 cents a share, up from $395,000, or 3 cents a share, a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive EPS growth over the past two years and this trend is expected to continue. Sales climbed 12% to $263 million, below the industry average of 29.9%. PC Mall had been rated hold since November 2006.Additional ratings changes are listed below.