The following ratings changes were generated on Friday, Nov. 7.

We've downgraded

AstraZeneca

(AZN) - Get Report

, which discovers, develops, manufactures and markets prescription pharmaceuticals, biologics and vaccines from buy to hold. Strengths include its increase in net income, revenue growth and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the stock has had a decline in price during the past year.

The net income growth of 28.8% from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the

S&P 500

and the pharmaceuticals industry. However, despite its revenue growth of 7.6%, the company underperformed the industry average of 9.9%. AstraZeneca has improved earnings per share by 32.2% in the most recent quarter compared with the same quarter a year ago.

This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently, but we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, it reported lower earnings of $3.73 vs. $3.85 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earningsto $5.

The company's current return on equity has slightly decreased from the same quarter one year prior, implying a minor weakness in the organization. Shares are down 14.63% 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 downgraded

Crown Castle International

(CCI) - Get Report

, which engages in the ownership, operation, and leasing of towers and other communications structures, from hold to sell, driven by its generally weak debt management, poor profit margins and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

Crown Castle's debt-to-equity ratio of 1.76 is quite high overall and compared with the industry average, suggesting that the current management of debt levels should be re-evaluated. It also has a quick ratio of 0.60, which demonstrates the lack of ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs. Gross profit margin of 30.3% is lower than desirable, having decreased significantly from the same period last year. Along with this, the net profit margin of -8.40% is significantly below that of the industry average.

Net income increased by 51.9% from the same quarter a year ago, to -$32.21 million. ROE has improved slightly, which can be construed as a modest strength, but it significantly trails average ROE of the industry and the S&P 500. Shares are down 56.51% on the 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 downgraded

Ryder System

(R) - Get Report

, which provides transportation and supply chain management solutions, from buy to hold. Strengths include its growth in earnings per share, increase in net income and attractive valuation levels. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses, including generally poor debt management and poor profit margins.

Ryder has improved earnings per share by 12.6% 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. We feel that this trend should continue. This trend suggests that the performance of the business is improving. During the past fiscal year, Ryder increased its bottom line byearning $4.26 vs. $4.04 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($4.48 vs. $4.26).

The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has greatly exceeded that of the S&P 500, but is less than that of the road and rail industry average. Net income increased by 7.1% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $65.53 million to $70.21 million.

The return on equity has improved slightly. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. Compared to other companies in the road and rail industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, Ryder has underperformed the industry but has exceeded that of the S&P 500.

The gross profit margin for Ryder is rather low, currently at 22%. Regardless of Ryder's low profit margin, it has managed to increase from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, Ryder's net profit margin of 4.30% is significantly lower than the same period one year prior.

Currently the debt-to-equity ratio of 1.65 is quite high overall and when compared to the industry average, suggesting that the current management of debt levels should be re-evaluated. Along with the unfavorable debt-to-equity ratio, Ryder maintains a poor quick ratio of 0.82, which illustrates the inability to avoid short-term cash problems.

We've downgraded

Tyson Foods

(TSN) - Get Report

, which engages in the production, distribution and marketing of chicken, beef, pork, prepared foods and related products, from hold to sell, driven by its deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity, poor profit margins, weak operating cash flow and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

Despite any intermediate fluctuations, we have only bad news to report on this stock's performance over the last year -- it has tumbled by 48.11%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 103.12% compared to the year-earlier quarter.

Although its share price is down sharply from a year ago, do not assume that it can now be tagged as cheap and attractive. The reality is that, based on its current price in relation to its earnings, Tyson is still more expensive than most of the other companies in its industry. The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to the S&P 500 and the food products industry.

Net income has decreased by 91.9% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $111.00 million to $9.00 million. The company's current return on equity has slightly decreased from the same quarter one year prior. This implies a minor weakness in the organization. When compared to other companies in the food products industry and the overall market, Tyson's return on equity is below that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.

The gross profit margin for Tyson is currently extremely low, coming in at 5.80%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 0.10% trails that of the industry average. Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is muchlower.

Other ratings changes include

Strategic Hotels

(BEE)

, downgraded from sell to hold, and

Nortel

( NT), downgraded from sell to hold.

All ratings changes generated on Nov. 7 are listed below.

AWH

Allied World

SELL

Downgrade

HOLD

AZN

AstraZeneca

HOLD

Downgrade

BUY

BEE

Strategic Hotels

SELL

Downgrade

HOLD

BZC

Breeze-Eastern

HOLD

Downgrade

BUY

CCI

Crown Castle

SELL

Downgrade

HOLD

CEBK

Central Bancorp

FROZEN

Downgrade

HOLD

DSCM

Drugstore.com

SELL

Downgrade

HOLD

FCNCA

First Citizens

HOLD

Downgrade

BUY

FIX

Comfort Systems

HOLD

Downgrade

BUY

FSBI

Fidelity Bancorp

SELL

Downgrade

HOLD

GET

Gaylord Entertainment

SELL

Downgrade

HOLD

HES

Hess

HOLD

Downgrade

BUY

LAMR

Lamar Advertising

FROZEN

Downgrade

HOLD

LUK

Leucadia

HOLD

Downgrade

BUY

MDH

MHI Hospitality

SELL

Downgrade

HOLD

MOG.B

MOOG

HOLD

Downgrade

BUY

NICK

Nicholas Financial

FROZEN

Downgrade

HOLD

NT

Nortel

SELL

Downgrade

HOLD

OTT

Otelco

HOLD

Upgrade

SELL

PRSC

Providence Service

SELL

Downgrade

HOLD

R

Ryder System

HOLD

Downgrade

BUY

RGEN

Repligen

HOLD

Downgrade

BUY

SE

Spectra Energy

SELL

Downgrade

HOLD

SJI

South Jersey Industries

FROZEN

Upgrade

HOLD

SNHY

Sun Hydraulics

HOLD

Downgrade

BUY

SNN

Smith & Newphew

HOLD

Downgrade

BUY

SWKS

Skyworks Solutions

BUY

Upgrade

HOLD

TSN

Tyson Foods

SELL

Downgrade

HOLD

UEIC

Universal Electronics

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.