The following ratings changes were generated on Friday, Jan. 30.

We've downgraded

Allstate

(ALL) - Get Report

, which engages in the personal property and casualty insurance business, from hold to sell, driven by its deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity, weak operating cash flow, generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself and feeble growth in its earnings per share.

Net income decreased from $760 million in the year-ago quarter to -$1,129 million, significantly underperforming the

S&P 500

and the insurance industry. Return on equity also greatly decreased, a signal of major weakness within the corporation. Net operating cash flow fell 73.1% to $354 million, and earnings per share declined by 255.1%. Though the company has reported a trend of declining earnings per share over the past two years, the consensus estimate suggests that this trend should reverse in the coming year.

Shares are down 55% over the last year, underperforming the S&P 500. Naturally, the overall market trend is bound to be a significant factor, and in one sense, the stock's sharp decline last year is a positive for future investors, making it cheaper (in proportion to its earnings over the past year) than most other stocks in its industry. But due to other concerns, we feel the stock is still not a good buy right now.

We've upgraded

Biogen Idec

(BIIB) - Get Report

, which engages in the development, manufacture and commercialization of novel therapies primarily in the areas of oncology, neurology, immunology and cardiology, from hold to buy, driven by its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income and reasonable valuation levels. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook.

Revenue rose by 38.5% since the same quarter last year, outperforming the industry average of 21.5% growth. Net income grew 73.2%, from $119.4 million to $206.8 million, outperforming both the biotechnology industry and the S&P 500. EPS also rose in the most recent quarter compared with the year-ago quarter. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years, which we feel that should continue.

Biogen Idec's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.2 and is currently below the industry average, implying very successful management of debt levels. The company also has a quick ratio of 2.3, which demonstrates its ability to cover short-term liquidity needs.

We've upgraded

Check Point Software Technologies

(CHKP) - Get Report

, which develops, markets and supports a range of software and combined hardware and software products and services for information technology security worldwide, from hold to buy, driven by its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, solid stock price performance, good cash flow from operations and growth in earnings per share. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook.

Since the same quarter last year, revenue rose by 5.3%, and net operating cash flow increased 13.1%, to $99.4 million. Boosted by the increased in revenue, EPS improved slightly. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years, and we feel that this trend should continue. Check Point has no debt to speak of, and it maintains a quick ratio of 2.6, clearly demonstrating its ability to cover short-term cash needs.

The stock has risen over the past year, outpacing the S&P 500. It goes without saying that even the best stocks can fall in an overall down market, but in any other environment, this stock would still have good upside potential despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year.

We've downgraded

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide

(HOT)

, which operates as a hotel and leisure company worldwide, from hold to sell, driven by its feeble growth in its earnings per share, deteriorating net income, generally weak debt management, poor profit margins and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

Net income decreased by 45.9% since the year-ago quarter, from $146 million to $79 million, underperforming the S&P 500 and greatly underperforming the hotels, restaurants and leisure industry. EPS also declined year over year, by 133.8%. Earnings per share have declined over the last two years, and we anticipate that this should continue in the coming year. Starwood's debt-to-equity ratio is very high at 2.5 and currently higher than the industry average, implying that very poor management of debt levels within the company. The company also maintains a quick ratio of 0.4, which clearly demonstrates the inability to cover short-term cash needs. Its gross profit margin of 26.3% is low, having decreased from the same quarter last year, and its net profit margin of 5.9% significantly trails the industry average.

Shares are down 62.6%, underperforming the S&P 500. Naturally, the overall market trend is bound to be a significant factor, and in one sense, the stock's sharp decline last year is a positive for future investors, making it cheaper (in proportion to its earnings over the past year) than most other stocks in its industry. But due to other concerns, we feel the stock is still not a good buy right now.

We've downgraded

Newell Rubbermaid

(NWL) - Get Report

, which engages in the design, manufacture, packaging and distribution of consumer and commercial products, from hold to sell, driven by its deteriorating net income, generally weak debt management, disappointing return on equity, poor profit margins and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

Net income fell 343.5%, from $105.4 million in the year-ago quarter to -$256.7 million, underperforming the S&P 500 and the household durables industry. ROE also greatly decreased a signal of major weakness. Newell's debt-to-equity ratio of 1.8 is quite high overall and when compared with the industry average, and the company's quick ratio of 0.6 demonstrates its lack of ability to cover short-term liquidity needs. The 33.1% gross profit margin is low, having decreased from the same quarter last year, and the net profit margin of -17.7% is significantly below the industry average.

Shares tumbled 65% over the year, underperforming the S&P 500, and EPS are down 358% year over year. Naturally, the overall market trend is bound to be a significant factor, and in one sense, the stock's sharp decline last year is a positive for future investors, making it cheaper (in proportion to its earnings over the past year) than most other stocks in its industry. But due to other concerns, we feel the stock is still not a good buy right now

Other ratings changes include

Celestica

(CLS) - Get Report

, downgraded from hold to sell, and

Sempra Energy

(SRE) - Get Report

, upgraded from hold to buy.

All ratings changes generated on Jan. 30 are listed below.

Each business day, 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. However, the rating does not incorporate all of the factors that can alter a stock's performance. For example, it doesn't always factor in recent corporate or industry events that could affect the stock price, nor does it include recent technology developments and competitive dynamics that may affect the company. For those reasons, we believe a rating alone cannot tell the whole story, and that it should be part of an investor's overall research.