Each weekday, 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.

EarthLink ( ELNK) provides Internet Protocol access and communications to consumers and businesses. It has been upgraded to a hold from a sell. The company's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.62 is somewhat low overall, but is high when compared to the industry average, and its quick ratio of 1.96 is high and demonstrates strong liquidity.

However, Earthlink's revenue dropped by 6.0% in the second quarter compared with the same period last year. In that same quarter, EarthLink swung to a loss of $16.29 million from a profit of $16.57 million a year earlier. Its stock price is down by 3.17% over the last 12 months. EarthLink had been rated a sell since June 2007.

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