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.

BankUnited Financial ( BKUNA) operates as a holding company for BankUnited, FSB, which provides consumers and commercial banking products primarily in Florida. It has been downgraded to sell from hold.

BankUnited's revenue increased by 11.2% in the fourth quarter compared with the same period last year. However, the company's fourth-quarter earnings fell to 17 cents per share compared with 63 cents a share in the same period last year, continuing a year-long downward earnings trend. Its stock price has plummeted by 73.6% in the last 12 months, and while the tumble has made it cheaper (in proportion to its earnings over the past year) than most other stocks in its industry, TheStreet.com Ratings still believes it is not a good buy right now. BankUnited had been rated a hold since March 2007.

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