The following ratings changes were generated on Wednesday, Nov. 19.

We've downgraded

Fluor

(FLR) - Get Report

, which provides engineering, procurement, construction management, and project management services worldwide, from buy to hold. Strengths include its impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income and robust revenue growth. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses such as a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself and poor profit margins.

Fluor reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared with the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years, which we feel should continue, suggesting improving business performance. During the past fiscal year, Fluor increased its bottom line by earning $2.92 vs. $1.48 in the prior year. This year, the market expects further improvement to $3.60. Net income increased 95.5% compared with the same quarter a year ago, from $93.68 million to $183.10 million, exceeding the average net income growth of both the

S&P 500

and the construction and engineering industry.

Fluor's gross profit margin of 6.5% is extremely low, thought it has increased from the same period last year. The net profit margin of 3.2% trails the industry average. Shares are down 50.67%, underperforming the S&P 500. The fact that the stock has come down in price over the past year should not necessarily be interpreted as a negative; it could be one of the factors that may help make the stock attractive down the road. Right now, however, we believe that it is too soon to buy.

We've downgraded

Gen-Probe

(GPRO) - Get Report

, which develops, manufactures, and markets nucleic acid probe-based products used for the clinical diagnosis of human diseases and for screening donated human blood, from buy to hold. Strengths include its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and impressive record of earnings per share growth. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the stock has had a decline in price during the past year.

Revenue is up 19.1% since the same quarter a year ago, outpacing the industry average growth rate of 15.1% and boosting EPS. Gen-Probe has a debt-to-equity ratio of zero and maintains a quick ratio of 10.76, which clearly demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs. Its return on equity has improved slightly compared with the same quarter one year prior, which can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. On the basis of ROE, Gen-Probe has underperformed the health care equipment and supplies industry average but outperformed the S&P 500.

Shares are down 36.24% on the year, apparently dragged down in part by the decline we have seen in the S&P 500. Although its share price is down sharply from a year ago, do not assume that it can now be tagged as cheap and attractive. Based on its current price in relation to its earnings, Gen-Probe is still more expensive than most of the other companies in its industry.

We've downgraded

St. Jude Medical

(STJ)

, which designs, manufactures and distributes cardiovascular medical devices and implantable neurostimulation devices worldwide, from buy to hold. Strengths include its robust revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth and compelling growth in net income. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the company's return on equity has been disappointing.

Revenue rose by 17% since the same quarter last year, outpacing the industry average of 15.1% and boosting EPS by 19.6% in the most recent quarter compared with the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years, which we feel should continue. During the past fiscal year, St. Jude increased its bottom line by earning $1.60 vs. $1.48 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings to $2.31.

St. Jude's gross profit margin is currently very high, at 77.9%, having increased from the same quarter last year. The net profit margin of 17.8% trails the industry average. ROE has slightly decreased from the same quarter a year ago, implying a minor weakness in the organization. On the basis of ROE, St. Jude outperforms the health care equipment and supplies industry average but underperforms the S&P 500. Shares are down 21.6% on the year, reflecting, in part, the market's overall decline. The fact that the stock is now selling for less than others in its industry in relation to its current earnings is not reason enough to justify a buy rating at this time.

We've upgraded

Aqua America

(WTR) - Get Report

, which operates as the holding company for regulated utilities that provide water or wastewater services in the U.S., from hold to buy, driven by its growth in earnings per share, revenue growth, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations and increase in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally poor debt management on most measures that we evaluated.

Aqua America has improved earnings per share by 18.2% in the most recent quarter compared with the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years, which we feel should continue. During the past fiscal year, it increased its bottom line by earning 72 cents vs. 70 cents in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings to 74 cents.

Revenue increased 7% since the same quarter a year ago, significantly trailing the industry average of 46.8%. Aqua America's gross profit margin for is rather high at 55%, having increased from the same quarter the previous year. The net profit margin of 20% trails the industry average. Net operating cash flow has slightly increased to $78.10 million, or 8.1% when compared with the same quarter last year, but Aqua America's cash flow growth rate is still lower than the industry average growth rate of 33.41%. On the basis of net income growth from the same quarter one year ago, the company has significantly underperformed the water utilities industry average but has outperformed the S&P 500. Net income increased by 19.9% when compared with the same quarter one year prior, going from $29.52 million to $35.38 million.

We've downgraded

Wolverine World Wide

(WWW) - Get Report

, which engages in manufacturing, sourcing, marketing, licensing and distributing footwear, apparel, and accessories to the retail sector, from buy to hold. Strengths include its growth in earnings per share, increase in net income and revenue growth. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the stock has had a decline in price during the past year.

Wolverine has improved earnings per share by 14.8% in the most recent quarter compared with the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share Wolverine increased its bottom line by earning $1.70 vs. $1.47 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings to $1.91. Net income increased by 5.8% compared with the same quarter a year ago, outperforming the S&P 500 and the textiles, apparel and luxury goods industry. Net operating cash flow has increased to -$10.75 million, or 15.33% when compared with the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow, Wolverine's average is still marginally south of the industry average growth rate of 17.06%.

Shares are down 27% on the year, but the decline was actually not as bad as the broader market plunge during that same time frame. One factor that may have helped cushion the fall somewhat was the improvement in the company's earnings per share year over year. 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

KongZhong

(KONG)

and

Christopher & Banks

(CBK) - Get Report

, both downgraded from hold to sell.

All ratings changes generated on Nov. 19 are listed below.

Ticker

Company

Current

Change

Previous

ALB

Albemarle

HOLD

Downgrade

BUY

AMSF

Amerisafe

BUY

Upgrade

HOLD

ANH

Anworth Mortgage

SELL

Downgrade

HOLD

AOS

A.O. Smith

HOLD

Downgrade

BUY

AXAS

Abraxas Petroleum

HOLD

Upgrade

SELL

CBK

Christopher & Banks

SELL

Downgrade

HOLD

CTIB

CTI Industries

SELL

Downgrade

HOLD

FAST

Fastenal

HOLD

Downgrade

BUY

FLR

Fluor

HOLD

Downgrade

BUY

GHM

Graham

HOLD

Downgrade

BUY

GPRO

Gen-Probe

HOLD

Downgrade

BUY

KONG

KongZhong

SELL

Downgrade

HOLD

LMIA

LMI Aerospace

HOLD

Downgrade

BUY

MPWR

Monolithic Power Systems

HOLD

Downgrade

BUY

ORBK

Orbotech

SELL

Downgrade

HOLD

PCX

Patriot Coal

SELL

Initiated

SHOO

Steven Madden

HOLD

Downgrade

BUY

STJ

St. Jude Medical

HOLD

Downgrade

BUY

TCBI

Texas Capital Bancshares

HOLD

Downgrade

BUY

TMTA

Transmeta

HOLD

Upgrade

SELL

WIBC

Wilshire Bancorp

HOLD

Downgrade

BUY

WTR

Aqua America

BUY

Upgrade

HOLD

WWW

Wolverine World Wide

HOLD

Downgrade

BUY

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.

This article was written by a staff member of TheStreet.com Ratings.