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. However, the rating does not incorporate all of the factors that can alter a stock's performance. For example, it doesn't always factor in recent corporate or industry events that could impact the stock price, nor does it include recent technology developments and competitive dynamics that may affect the company. For those reasons, we believe a rating alone cannot tell the whole story and should constitute part of an investor's overall research. Darden Restaurants ( DRI), a casual dining company, has been downgraded to hold. While the company has experienced revenue growth, reasonable valuation levels and good cash flow from operations, it has also contended with deteriorating net income, generally poor debt management and poor profit margins. Fiscal second-quarter profit slipped 30% from a year ago to $43.5 million, or 30 cents a share. The company, which operates the Olive Garden and Red Lobster chains, has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently, but it appears poised for EPS growth in the coming year. A revenue increase of 17% to $1.52 billion, higher than the industry average of 1.5%, does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, as shown by the EPS decline. Darden Restaurants had been rated buy since January 2006.
|Stock Upgrades, Downgrades|
|Company Name||Ticker||Change||New Rating||Former Rating|
|Duckwall Alco Stores||DUCK||Downgrade||Hold||Buy|
|Penn Virginia Group||PVG||Initiation||Sell||n/a|
|Source: TheStreet.com Ratings|