Riviera Holdings ( RIV), through its subsidiaries, owns and operates the Rivieria Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, and the Riviera Black Hawk Casino in Black Hawk, Colo. It has been upgraded to a hold from a sell.

The company's third-quarter revenue increased 4.0% compared with the same period last year, and regardless of the somewhat mixed results of its debt-to-equity ratio, the company's quick ratio of 1.45 is sturdy. Riviera has experienced somewhat volatile earnings recently, but we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. However, its net losses in the third quarter deepened to $18.25 million from $430,000 in the same period last year. Riviera had been rated a sell since November, prior to which it had been rated a hold since December 2005.

United Natural Foods ( UNFI) sells natural and organic foods in the U.S. It has been upgraded to buy from hold. The company's revenue increased 13.9% in the first quarter of its fiscal 2008 compared with the same period last year, growth which appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line.

United Natural Foods' first-quarter earnings increased 10.3% to 32 cents a share from 29 cents per share, continuing a two-year pattern of positive EPS growth. The company also demonstrates reasonable valuation levels. Its stock price has fallen by 17.6% in the last 12 months, but this should not be interpreted as a negative. In fact, it is one of the factors that makes this stock an attractive investment. Given its other strengths, the company's somewhat disappointing return on equity is not a concern. United Natural Foods had been rated a hold since July 2007.

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