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TSC Ratings provides exclusive stock, ETF and mutual fund ratings and commentary based on award-winning, proprietary tools. Its "safety first" approach to investing aims to reduce risk while seeking solid outperformance on a total return basis.

The following ratings changes were generated on Tuesday, June 23.

We've downgraded

ATP Oil & Gas

( ATPG) from hold to sell, driven by its unimpressive growth in net income, generally weak debt management, weak operating cash flow, generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself and feeble growth in its earnings per share.

Net income decreased by 96.5% to $1.64 million, from $46.9 million in the same quarter last year. ATP's debt-to-equity ratio is very high at 4.1, above the industry average, implying poor management of debt levels within the company. Its 0.8 quick ratio illustrates an inability to avoid short-term cash problems. Net operating cash flow fell 81.9% to $22.9 million compared with the year-ago quarter. Earnings per share declined steeply compared with the year-ago quarter, while fiscal-year earnings increased from $1.55 per share to $3.39 per share. We feel the company is likely to report an earnings decline in the coming year.

We've upgraded

BlackRock

(BLK) - Get Report

from hold to buy, driven by its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

The company's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.09, below the industry average, implying successful management of debt levels. Its 35.5% gross profit margin is strong and has increased from the year-ago quarter. Net operating cash flow increased to -$126 million, while revenue fell by 24.1%. EPS declined steeply in the most recent quarter compared with the year-ago quarter. The company has suffered a decline in EPS over the past year, but we anticipate this trend will reverse over the coming year.

We've upgraded

Campbell Soup

(CPB) - Get Report

from hold to buy, driven by its notable return on equity, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations, impressive record of earnings per share growth and relatively strong performance when compared with the S&P 500 during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

Return on equity greatly increased compared with the same quarter a year ago, a signal of significant strength. Campbell's 44.7% gross profit margin is strong and has increased from the year-ago quarter, and its 10.3% net profit margin is above the industry average. Net operating cash flow increased by 193.9% to $388 million compared with the year-ago quarter. EPS improved significantly compared with the same quarter a year ago, and we feel the company is poised for EPS growth in the coming year.

We've upgraded

Marsh & McLennan

(MMC) - Get Report

from hold to buy, driven by its increase in net income, notable return on equity, good cash flow from operations, impressive record of earnings per share growth and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

Net income increased to $176 million in the most recent quarter from -$210 million in the year-ago quarter. ROE also improved, which can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. Net operating cash flow increased slightly to -$450 million, and the company reported significant EPS improvement compared with the year-ago quarter. During the past fiscal year, earnings fell to -13 cents per share vs. 98 cents in the prior year, but we feel the company is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. Revenue fell by 14.2% compared with the same quarter a year ago.

We've upgraded

Urban Outfitters

(URBN) - Get Report

from hold to buy, driven by its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

Urban Outfitters has a quick ratio of 1.9, which demonstrates strong liquidity. Net operating cash flow increased by 48.3% to $69.8 million compared with the same quarter last year. The 43% gross profit margin is strong, though it has decreased from the year-ago period, and the 8% net profit margin compares favorably with the industry average. Revenue fell by 2.4%, and EPS decreased. ROE decreased slightly from the same quarter last year, implying a minor weakness in the organization.

All ratings changes from June 23 are listed below.

Note: Our quantitative model makes stock recommendations based on GAAP figures that may differ materially from data as reported by the companies themselves. As a result, rating changes are occasionally driven by so-called nonrecurring items. As always, we urge readers to use TSC Ratings' reports in conjunction with additional information to construct their opinions on the value that should be placed on any given stock.

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