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BOSTON (

TheStreet

) -- TheStreet.com's stock-rating model upgraded chipmaker

Analog Devices

(ADI) - Get Report

to "buy."

The numbers

: Fiscal third-quarter net income dropped 53% to $66 million, or 22 cents a share. Revenue decreased 25% to $492 million. Its gross margin declined from 67% to 61% and its operating margin fell from 25% to 16%. Analog Devices has a strong financial position, with $1.7 billion of cash, compared to $375 million of debt. A quick ratio of 5.6 and debt-to-equity ratio of 0.2 demonstrate fiscal prudence.

The stock

: Analog Devices has climbed 53% this year, beating major U.S. indices. The stock trades at a price-to-earnings ratio of 30, a discount to chipmakers, but a premium to the market. The shares have a 2.8% dividend yield.

The model upgraded investment bank

Piper Jaffray

(PJC) - Get Report

to "hold."

The numbers

: The company swung to a second-quarter profit of $12 million, or 59 cents a share, from a loss of $70,000, or 9 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. Revenue grew 30% to $134 million. Its gross margin rose from 5% to 20% and its operating margin climbed from 2% to 18%. Piper has adequate liquidity, with $237 million of cash. A debt-to-equity ratio of 0.4 indicates conservative leverage.

The stock

: Piper Jaffray is up 22% this year, beating the

Dow Jones Industrial Average

and

S&P 500 Index

. The company posted net losses in the previous five reporting periods and doesn't pay dividends.

The model upgraded data-hosting specialist

Rackspace Hosting

(RAX)

to "hold."

The numbers

: Second-quarter profit increased 67% to $7 million, or 6 cents a share, as revenue increased 16% to $152 million. Its gross margin rose from 67% to 68% and its operating margin climbed from 6% to 9%. A quick ratio of 1 reflects adequate liquidity. A debt-to-equity ratio of 0.7 indicates reasonable leverage.

The stock

: Rackspace Hosting is up 160% this year, trouncing major U.S. indices. The stock trades at a price-to-earnings ratio of 67, a premium to internet software and service peers and the market. The company doesn't pay dividends.

The model upgraded investment bank

Raymond James Financial

(RJF) - Get Report

to "buy."

The numbers

: Fiscal third-quarter profit dropped 39% to $43 million, or 36 cents a share, as revenue declined 22% to $632 million. Its gross margin decreased from 23% to 15% and its operating margin fell from 22% to 13%. Raymond James has a strong financial position, with $6.3 billion of cash, compared to $328 million of debt. A debt-to-equity ratio of 0.2 indicates modest leverage.

The stock

: Raymond James has advanced 37% this year, outpacing major U.S. indices. The stock trades at a price-to-earnings ratio of 18, a discount to investment banks and the market. The shares offer a 1.9% dividend yield.

The model upgraded electric utility

Westar Energy

(WR)

to "buy."

The numbers

: Second-quarter net income surged 557% to $38 million and earnings per share climbed 483% to 35 cents, restrained by a higher share count. Revenue grew 4% to $468 million. Its gross margin rose from 19% to 33% and its operating margin climbed from 8% to 19%. A quick ratio of 0.3 indicates weak liquidity and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.3 reflects excessive leverage.

The stock

: Westar is down 1% this year, lagging behind major U.S. indices. The stock trades at a price-to-earnings ratio of 14, which is comparable to other utilities, but a discount to the market. The shares offer a 5.9% dividend yield.

-- Reported by Jake Lynch in Boston.

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