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 affect the stock price, nor does it include recent technology developments and competitive dynamics that may affect the company. The following ratings changes were generated on June 11. Volterra Semiconductor ( VLTR), which designs, develops and markets power management semiconductors, has been upgraded to buy. Revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 20%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenue rose by 31%. Net income increased to $2.49 million from $360,000. Net operating cash flow has significantly increased to $3.86 million in the past year. The gross profit margin is rather high, currently at 58%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Volterra Semiconductor had been rated hold since TheStreet.com Ratings initiated coverage on June 9, 2006.
Crawford & Co. ( CRD.B), which provides claims management solutions to insurance companies, has been upgraded to buy. Revenue increased 4% since the same quarter a year ago, helping boost EPS. During the past fiscal year, the company increased its bottom line by earning 33 cents a share vs. 31 cents a year ago. Net operating cash flow has increased 87% to negative $4.1 million. Crawford had been rated hold since Feb. 13, 2007. Take-Two Interactive ( TTWO), which develops, publishes and distributes interactive software games, has been upgraded to hold. Revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average, more than doubling since the same quarter one year prior. The debt-to-equity ratio is very low, at 0.33, implying very successful management of debt levels. Return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500. Take-Two Interactive had been rated sell since Aug. 6, 2007. International Game Technology ( IGT), which engages in the design, manufacture and marketing of computerized gaming equipment, network systems and services, has been downgraded to hold. Its return on equity exceeds that of the industry average and significantly exceeds that of the S&P 500 average. The gross profit margin is rather high at 64%, but has decreased from the same period last year. With its decline in revenue, the company underperformed when compared with the industry average of 21%. Net operating cash flow has decreased to $75 million when compared to the same quarter last year. International Game Technology had been rated buy since TheStreet.com Ratings initiated coverage on June 9, 2006.
Weingarten Realty Investors ( WRI), a real estate investment trust, has been downgraded to hold. Despite its revenue growth of 9%, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average. The gross profit margin of 41% is strong, but has decrease from the same period last year. This revenue growth doesn't appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share. Weingarten Realty Investors had been rated buy since April 2008. Additional ratings changes from June 11, 2008 are listed below.
|Ticker||Company Name||Change||New Rating||Former Rating|
|CRD.B||Crawford & Company||Upgrade||Buy||Hold|
|IGT||International Game Technology||Downgrade||Hold||Buy|
|IVAN||Ivanhoe Energy Inc.||Upgrade||Hold||Sell|
|MSFG||Mainsource Financial Group Inc.||Upgrade||Buy||Hold|
|RACK||Rackable Systems Inc.||Upgrade||Hold||Sell|
|SSFN||Stewardship Financial Corp.||Downgrade||Hold||Buy|
|SUMR||Summer Infant Inc.||Initiated||Hold|
|TTWO||Take-Two Interactive Software||Upgrade||Hold||Sell|
|VLTR||Volterra Semiconductor Corp.||Upgrade||Buy||Hold|
|WBCO||Washington Banking Company||Downgrade||Hold||Buy|
|WRI||Weingarten Realty Investors||Downgrade||Hold||Buy|