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The following ratings changes were generated on Tuesday, Jan. 27.

We've upgraded energy services holding company

AGL Resources

( ATG) from hold to buy, driven by its revenue growth, growth in earnings per share, increase in net income, notable return on equity 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 generally poor debt management on most measures that we evaluated.

Revenue rose by 46.1% since the year-ago quarter, outperforming the average industry growth of 33.5%. AGL also reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared with the same quarter a year ago. Stable EPS over the past year indicate the company has sound management over its earnings and share float. We anticipate these figures will begin to experience more growth in the coming year. Net income increased by 400% compared with the year-ago quarter, from $13 million to $65 million, and ROE improved slightly.

Shares fell 15.2% over the year, reflecting, in part, the market's overall decline. Looking ahead, although the push and pull of the overall market trend could certainly make a critical difference, we do not see any strong reason stemming from the company's fundamentals that would cause a continuation of last year's decline. In fact, the stock is now selling for less than others in its industry in relation to its current earnings.

We've downgraded

Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold

(FCX) - Get Freeport-McMoRan, Inc. Report

from hold to sell, driven by its deteriorating net income, generally weak debt management, disappointing return on equity, weak operating cash flow and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

Net income decreased significantly since the year-ago quarter, from $478 million to -$13.9 billion. Return on equity great decreased, and net operating cash flow fell to $201 million, or by 85.5%. Freeport's debt-to-equity ratio of 1.3 is relatively high when compared with the industry average, suggesting a need for better debt level management, and its 0.7 quick ratio demonstrates the lack of ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.

Shares tumbled 70.4% over the last year, underperforming the S&P 500, and EPS are down 3,537.4% compared with the year-earlier quarter. 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

IHS

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TheStreet Recommends

(IHS)

, which provides critical information, decision-support tools, and related services to customers in the energy, defense, aerospace, construction, electronics, and automotive industries worldwide, from hold to buy, driven by its robust revenue growth, growth in earnings per share, compelling growth in net income, expanding profit margins and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company is trading at a premium valuation based on our review of its current price compared to such things as earnings and book value.

Revenue rose by 16.8% since the same quarter last year, outpacing the industry average of 4.1% growth. EPS are up 32.5% 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, and we feel that this trend should continue. Net income growth increased by 32.7% year over year, from $25.1 million to $33.3 million.

IHS has a rather high gross profit margin of 57.2%, but its net profit margin of 14.4% trails the industry average. The company's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.1 and is currently below the industry average, implying very successful management of debt levels. Its quick ratio of 0.4, however, is very weak and demonstrates a lack of ability to pay short-term obligations.

We've upgraded

Pinnacle West Capital

(PNW) - Get Pinnacle West Capital Corporation Report

, which provides energy services and energy-related products, from hold to buy, driven by its attractive valuation levels, considering its current price compared to earnings, book value and other measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat weak growth in earnings per share.

Revenue fell by 10.4% since the year-ago quarter, underperforming the industry average. Pinnacle's debt-to-equity ratio of 1.01 is below the industry average, suggesting that this level of debt is acceptable within the electric utilities industry. Its 0.5 quick ratio is very low, demonstrating very weak liquidity. The company's gross profit margin of 34.5% is lower whan desirable, having decreased from the year-ago quarter, but its net profit margin of 14% outperforms the industry average.

Shares are down 12.3% on the year, reflecting, in part, the market's overall decline. Looking ahead, although the push and pull of the overall market trend could certainly make a critical difference, we do not see any strong reason stemming from the company's fundamentals that would cause a continuation of last year's decline. In fact, the stock is now selling for less than others in its industry in relation to its current earnings.

We've upgraded

ResMed

(RMD) - Get ResMed Inc. Report

, which engages in the design, manufacture and marketing of equipment for the diagnosis and treatment of sleep-disordered breathing and other respiratory disorders, 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 good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

Revenue rose by 17.3% since the same quarter last year, compared with the industry average of 12.8% growth. Net income is up 16.2%, from $24.1 million in the year-ago quarter to $28 million. Net operating cash flow rose 141.4%. EPS rose 16.1%. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years, which we should continue. ResMed's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.2 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying very successful management of debt levels. The company also maintains a quick ratio of 2.8, which clearly demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.

Other ratings changes include

Zep

(ZEP)

and

Zions

(ZION) - Get Zions Bancorporation, N.A. Report

, both downgraded from hold to sell.

All ratings changes generated on Jan. 27 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.