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 Thursday, June 4.

We've upgraded

Federated Investors

(FII) - Get Report

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

Revenue increased by 1.6% since the year-ago quarter, though EPS declined by 37%, and we feel the company is likely to report an earnings decline in the coming year. Return on equity rose from the same quarter a year prior, a sign of strength within the company. Federated's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.4 is below the industry average, though the quick ratio of 0.5 implies difficulty in paying short-term obligations.

Shares have fallen 30.1% over the past year, in part reflecting the overall decline in the broad market. The fact that the stock has come down in price over the past year should not necessarily be interpreted as a negative; it is one of the factors that makes this stock an attractive investment.

We've upgraded

LTC Properties

(LTC) - Get Report

from hold to buy, driven by its increase in net income, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat weak growth in earnings per share.

Though net income is flat compared with the year-ago quarter, it greatly outperformed the

S&P 500

and the REITs industry. LTC's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.08 is below the industry average, and the gross profit margin is 68.5%, though it has decreased from the same period last year. The net profit margin of 63% significantly outperformed the industry average. Revenue fell by 0.7% but outperformed the industry average. EPS also decreased, and net operating cash flow remained flat at $13.87 million, underperforming the instury average growth rate of 44.6%.

We've upgraded

Mednax

(MD) - Get Report

from hold to buy, driven by its robust revenue growth, growth in earnings per share, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, good cash flow from operations 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.

Revenue rose by 23.7% since the year-ago quarter, and EPS improved by 12.1%. We feel that the company's two-year trend of positive EPS growth should continue. Net operating cash flow increased to -$22 million compared with the year-ago quarter, underperforming the industry average. Mednax's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.2 is below the industry average, though the quick ratio of 0.8 is somewhat weak.

Shares are down 22.5% over the past year, reflecting, in part, the market's overall decline. The fact that the stock has come down in price over the past year should not necessarily be interpreted as a negative; it is one of the factors that makes this stock an attractive investment.

We've upgraded

Raytheon

(RTN) - Get Report

from hold to buy, driven by its revenue growth, growth in earnings per share, increase in net income, good cash flow from operations and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

Revenue increased by 9.9% from the year-ago quarter, and EPS improved by 20.6%. We feel that the company's two-year trend of positive EPS growth should continue. Net income increased by 13.6% compared with the year-ago quarter, from $398 million to $452 million, outperforming the S&P 500 and the aerospace and defense industry average. Net operating cash flow rose 610.5% to $405 million, vastly surpassing the industry average cash flow growth rate of -38.7%. Raytheon's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.3 is low but is above the industry average. The quick ratio of 0.5 is weak.

We've downgraded

Titan Machinery

(TITN) - Get Report

from hold to sell, driven by its generally weak debt management and poor profit margins.

The debt-to-equity ratio of 1.1 is below the industry average, suggesting that this level of debt is acceptable within the trading companies and distributors industry. The qui ratio of 0.5 is very low, implying weak liquidity. Titan's 18.1% gross profit margin is rather low. The company reported significant EPS improvement in the most recent quarter compared with the year-ago quarter, though we anticipate underperformance in the coming year relative to the company's yearlong pattern of positive EPS growth. Net operating cash flow fell to -$11.7 million.

Shares are down 44% over the past year, underperforming the S&P 500.

All ratings changes from June 4 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.

TheStreet.com Ratings, recently cited for Best Stock Selection from October 2007 through February 2009 , is an independent research provider that combines fundamental and technical analysis to offer investors tremendous value in volatile times. To see how your portfolio can use this research,

click here now!