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.

For those reasons, we believe a rating alone cannot tell the whole story, and that it should be part of an investor's overall research.

The following ratings changes were generated on August 29.

ArvinMeritor ( ARM) was upgraded from hold to buy. ArvinMeritor supplies a range of integrated systems, modules and components to the motor vehicle industry worldwide.

The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, compelling growth in net income, good cash flow from operations, growth in earnings per share and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 4.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenue rose by 20.5%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.

The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the auto components industry. The net income increased by 162.8% when compared with the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$70.00 million to $44.00 million.

Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 189.76% to $114.00 million when compared with the same quarter last year. In addition, ARM has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash-flow growth rate of 34.15%.

ARM reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most-recent quarter compared with the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, ARM swung to a loss, reporting -43 cents vs. $1.61 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.55 vs. -43 cents).

The return on equity has improved slightly when compared with the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. When compared with other companies in the auto components industry and the overall market, ARM's return on equity is below that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.

ARM had been rated a hold since May 1, 2008.

Woori Finance Holdings ( WF) has been downgraded from hold to sell. Woori Finance Holdings a financial holding company, offers a range of banking and financial products and services in South Korea. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its feeble growth in its earnings per share, deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

WF's earnings per share declined by 46.9% in the most recent quarter compared with the same quarter a year ago. Earnings per share have declined over the last year. We anticipate that this should continue in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, WF reported lower earnings of $8.06 vs. $8.13 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 9.9% in earnings ($7.26 vs. $8.06).

The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared with that of the S&P 500 and the commercial banks industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 46.9% when compared with the same quarter one year ago, falling from $688.01 million to $365.21 million.

Current return on equity is lower than its return on equity from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of weakness within the company. Compared with other companies in the commercial banks industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, WF has outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared with the S&P 500.

Despite any intermediate fluctuations, we have only bad news to report on this stock's performance over the last year: It has tumbled by 37.98%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 46.87% compared with the year-earlier quarter.

Naturally, the overall market trend is bound to be a significant factor. However, in one sense, the stock's sharp decline last year is a positive for future investors, making it cheaper (in proportion to its earnings over the past year) than most other stocks in its industry. But because of other concerns, we feel the stock is still not a good buy right now.

WF, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared with the industry average of 11.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenue has slightly dropped by 5.7%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.

WF has been rated a hold since Feb. 14, 2008.

Tiffany ( TIF) has been downgraded from a buy to hold. Tiffany, through its subsidiaries, engages in the design, manufacture and retail of fine jewelry. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, impressive record of earnings-per-share growth and compelling growth in net income. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the stock has had a decline in price during the past year.

The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 10.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenue rose by 10.5%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.

TIF has improved earnings per share by 31.3% in the most recent quarter compared with the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. This trend suggests that the performance of the business is improving. During the past fiscal year, TIF increased its bottom line by earning $2.45 vs. $1.92 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.83 vs. $2.45).

The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.36, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels. Despite the fact that TIF's debt-to-equity ratio is low, the quick ratio, which is currently 0.54, displays a potential problem in covering short-term cash needs.

The gross profit margin for TIF is rather high; currently it is at 57.80%. Regardless of TIF's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, TIF's net profit margin of 11.00% compares favorably with the industry average.

After a year of stock price fluctuations, the net result is that TIF's price has not changed very much. Although its weak earnings growth may have played a role in this flat result, don't lose sight of the fact that the performance of the overall market, as measured by the S&P 500 index, was essentially similar.

Turning toward the future, the fact that the stock has come down in price over the past year should not necessarily be interpreted as a negative; it could be one of the factors that may help make the stock attractive down the road. Right now, however, we believe that it is too soon to buy.

TIF had been rated a buy since Nov. 21, 2008.

Denison Mines ( DNN) has been initiated at sell. Denison Mines, together with its subsidiaries, engages in the development, exploration, and production of oil and gas, gold, copper, cobalt, zinc, lead, silver, uranium, vanadium, diamonds, phosphate, iodine, sulphate and nitrate in North America, Zambia and Mongolia. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its feeble growth in its earnings per share, deteriorating net income and poor profit margins.

DNN has experienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most-recent quarter in comparison with its performance from the same quarter a year ago.

The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared with the S&P 500 and the oil, gas and consumable fuels industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 134.0% when compared with the same quarter one year ago, falling from $40.49 million to -$13.76 million.

The gross profit margin for DNN is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 32.20%. It has decreased significantly from the same period last year. Along with this, the net profit margin of -43.40% is significantly below the industry average.

Compared with other companies in the oil, gas and consumable fuels industry and the overall market, DNN's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.

Despite any intermediate fluctuations, we have only bad news to report on this stock's performance over the last year: It has tumbled by 31.42%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 133.33% compared with the year-earlier quarter.

Solera Holdings ( SLH) has been initiated at hold. Solera Holdings and its subsidiaries provide automobile insurance claims processing software and services to insurance companies, collision repair facilities, independent assessors and automotive recyclers.

The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, robust revenue growth and growth in earnings per share. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the company has not been very careful in the management of its balance sheet.

Compared with its price level of one year ago, SLH is up 69.74% to its most recent closing price of $29.74. Looking ahead, our view is that this company's fundamentals should not have much impact in either direction, allowing the stock to generally move up or down on the basis of the push and pull of the broad market.

SLH's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 16.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenue rose by 18.8%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.

The gross profit margin for SLH is rather high; currently it is at 64.70%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Regardless of the strong results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of -14.80% is in line with the industry average.

Compared with other companies in the software industry and the overall market, SLH's return on equity significantly trails both the industry average and that of the S&P 500.

The debt-to-equity ratio of 1.35 is relatively high when compared with the industry average, suggesting a need for better debt level management. Regardless of the company's weak debt-to-equity ratio, SLH has managed to keep a strong quick ratio of 1.64, which demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.

Additional ratings changes from August 29 are listed below.
Ticker Company Name Change New Rating Former Rating
ALCO Alico Inc. Upgrade Hold Sell
ARM ArvinMeritor Inc. Upgrade Buy Hold
BMTI Biomimetic Therapeutics Inc. Downgrade Sell Hold
CMFB Commercefirst Bancorp Inc. Upgrade Hold Sell
DNN Denison Mines Corp. Initiated Sell
GAIN Gladstone Investment Corp. Initiated Sell
LIVC Live Current Media Inc. Downgrade Sell Hold
SCIE SpectraScience Inc. Initiated Sell
SLH Solera Holdings Inc. Initiated Hold
SXI Standex International Corp. Upgrade Buy Hold
TIF Tiffany & Co. Downgrade Hold Buy
TIII TII Network Technologies Downgrade Sell Hold
TIVO TiVo Inc. Downgrade Sell Hold
TRMA Trico Marine Services Downgrade Hold Buy
WF Woori Finance Holdings Downgrade Sell Hold
This article was written by a staff member of TheStreet.com Ratings.

If you liked this article you might like

What Is Common Stock and What Is Preferred Stock? Stock Types and Their Differences Explained

What Is Common Stock and What Is Preferred Stock? Stock Types and Their Differences Explained

10 Dividend Stocks for '30-Year' Investors

10 Dividend Stocks for '30-Year' Investors

10 Dividend Stocks for '30-Year' Investors

10 Dividend Stocks for '30-Year' Investors

10 Buy-Rated Dividend Stocks to Buy Today

10 Buy-Rated Dividend Stocks to Buy Today

Top 5 Fast-Growth Stocks: June 1

Top 5 Fast-Growth Stocks: June 1