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, our 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 this reason, we believe a rating alone cannot tell the whole story and should be part of an investor's overall research. AnnTaylor Stores ( ANN), a specialty retailer of women's apparel, shoes and accessories, has been downgraded to hold. While the company's strengths can be seen in several areas, such as its revenue growth, earnings per share and net income, the stock's performance over the past year has been generally disappointing.