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.

Monster Worldwide ( MNST - Get Report) is the parent company of Monster.com, the online employment Web site. It has been downgraded to a hold from a buy. The company's strengths include its revenue growth of 17.9% in the third quarter when compared with the same period last year, exceeding the industry average of 0.5%. Monster is carrying no debt, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. However, its third-quarter earnings fell 19.4% to 25 cents a share from 31 cents a share in the same period last year, continuing recent a pattern of volatile earnings. In addition, the company's stock price has gone down 31.21% in the last 12 months, and based on its current price in relation to its earnings, Monster's stock is still more expensive than most of the other companies in its industry. It had been rated a buy since December 2005.

Bemis Company ( BMS) manufactures and sells flexible packaging products and pressure-sensitive materials. It has been downgraded to a hold from a buy. The company's revenue nudged up by 0.25% in the third quarter compared with the same period last year, trailing the industry average of 14.3%. It also has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.61, which is below the industry average, implying that there has been relatively successful management of debt levels. Bemis' third-quarter earnings fell by 11.1% to 40 cents a share from 45 cents a share in the same period last year, although TheStreet.com Ratings feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. The company also demonstrates poor profit margins and weak operating cash flow. Bemis had been rated a buy since December 2005.

Choice Hotels ( CHH - Get Report) operates hotels around the world. It has been downgraded to a hold from a buy. The company's strengths include revenue growth of 16.8% in the third quarter compared with the same period last year and expanding profit margins. Even though its debt-to-equity ratio is mixed, Choice Hotels' quick ratio of 0.69 demonstrates weak liquidity. Its income fell 17.2% in the third quarter to $38.39 million, compared with $46.36 million in the same period last year. Compared with the industry average, Choice Hotels' growth is significantly lower. The company's stock price has also fallen by 21.11% in the last 12 months. Choice Hotels had been rated a buy since December 2005.

Digital River ( DRIV) sells e-commerce products to software and high-tech products markets. It has been downgraded to a hold from a buy. The company improved its third-quarter earnings by 6.1% to 35 cents a share from 33 cents a share in the same period last year and has demonstrated a pattern of positive EPS growth over the past two years. TheStreet.com Ratings believe this trend -- which suggests that the performance of the business is improving -- will continue. Digital River's other strengths include revenue growth and reasonable valuation levels. However, the company also has demonstrated disappointing return on equity and weak operating cash flow. In addition, its stock price has fallen by 39.31% in the last 12 months. Digital River had been rated a buy since December 2005.

LECG ( XPRT) provides services that include financial analysis, expert testimony, litigation support and strategic management consulting to various public and private enterprises. It has been downgraded to a hold from a buy. The company's year-on-year revenue growth of 9.0% in the third quarter outpaced the industry average of 0.5%. LEDG also has a largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and attractive valuation levels. However, the company's return on equity dropped to 6.90% in the third quarter from 10.67% in the same period last year, which suggests a minor weakness in the organization. LECG's stock price has dropped by 22.65% in the last 12 months. It had been rated a buy since January 2007.

Additional ratings changes are listed below.

Stock Upgrades, Downgrades
Company Name Ticker Change New Rating Former Rating
Bemis BMS Downgrade Hold Buy
Choice Hotels International CHH Downgrade Hold Buy
Citybank CTBK Downgrade Hold Buy
CSK Auto CAO Downgrade Sell Hold
Acorn Factor ACFN Upgrade Buy Sell
Digital River DRIV Downgrade Hold Buy
Material Sciences MSC Downgrade Sell Hold
Perceptron PRCP Downgrade Hold Buy
Monster Worldwide MNST Downgrade Hold Buy
LECG XPRT Downgrade Hold Buy
VDG Holding PTT Upgrade Buy Hold
Source: TheStreet.com Ratings