The following ratings changes were generated on Monday, Feb. 2.

We've downgraded Acxiom ( ACXM), which provides customer and information management solutions for various companies worldwide, from hold to sell, driven by its deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity, weak operating cash flow, generally weak debt management and decline in the stock price during the past year.

Net income decreased significantly, by 120.8%, compared with the same quarter last year, underperforming both the S&P 500 and the IT services industry. Return on equity also greatly decreased, a signal of major weakness within the corporation. Net operating cash flow decreased to $78.9 million, or 39.3%. Acxiom's debt-to-equity ratio is weak, but its 1.2 quick ratio is somewhat strong, demonstrating its ability to handle short-term liquidity needs.

Shares are down 8.1% over the past year, in part reflecting the market's overall decline. The fact that the stock is now selling for less than others in its industry in relation to its current earnings is not reason enough to justify a buy rating at this time.

We've downgraded AMB Property ( AMB), which engages in the acquisition, development, and operation of industrial properties, from hold to sell, driven by its feeble growth in its earnings per share, deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

AMB property experienced a steep decline in earnings per share of 727.3% in the most recent quarter compared with the year-ago quarter. Earnings per share have declined over the last two years, and we anticipate that this should continue in the coming year. Net income fell 303.7% compared with the year-ago quarter, and ROE also greatly decreased, underperforming the industry average and the S&P 500. AMB's debt-to-equity ratio of 1.6 is below the industry average, suggesting that this level of debt is acceptable within the REIT industry.

Shares are down 67.3% on the year, underperforming the S&P 500. Naturally, the overall market trend is bound to be a significant factor, and 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 due to other concerns, we feel the stock is still not a good buy right now.

We've upgraded diversified energy company Black Hills ( BKH) from hold to buy, driven by its robust revenue growth, compelling growth in net income and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.

Revenue leaped by 124.2% since the same quarter last year, and net income grew 844.3%, from $17.5 million to $164.9 million, outperforming the industry average of 34.7%. EPS improved significantly in the most recent quarter compared with the year-ago quarter. Stable earnings per share over the past year indicate the company has sound management over its earnings and share float, but despite the past stability of earnings, the consensus estimate anticipates a weakening in earnings. Black Hills' debt-to-equity ratio of 1 is somewhat low, below the industry average, implying a relatively successful effort in the management of debt levels. Its 0.4 quick ratio, however, is very weak and demonstrates a lack of ability to pay short-term obligations.

Shares are off by a sharp 30.1% compared with a year ago, though the broader market's decline during the same time frame was worse. Black Hills is still more expensive than most of the other companies in its industry based on its current price-to-earnings ratio, we believe that other strengths that the company offers support our buy rating.

We've downgraded Eastman Kodak ( EK), which engages the in development, manufacture, and marketing of digital and traditional imaging products, services and solutions worldwide, from hold to sell, driven by its generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself, deteriorating net income, poor profit margins, weak operating cash flow and feeble growth in its earnings per share.

Net income is down 163.7% compared with the same quarter last year, significantly underperforming the S&P 500 and the leisure equipment and products industry. Net operating cash flow decreased to $512 million, or by 50.7% compared with the year-ago quarter. EPS also declined steeply, by 261.3%. The company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently, but we feel it is likely to report a decline in the coming year. Eastman Kodak's 25.3% gross profit margin is lower than desirable, having decreased from the same quarter the previous year, and its net profit margin of -5.6% is below the industry average.

Shares are down 77.1% on the year, underperforming the S&P 500, but the stock is still more expensive (when compared to its current earnings) than most other companies in its industry.

We've downgraded Wilmington Trust ( WL) from hold to sell, driven by its deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity, poor profit margins, generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself and feeble growth in its earnings per share.

Net income decreased by 255.7% compared with the year-ago quarter, underperforming the S&P 500 and the commercial banks industry. ROE also greatly decreased, a signal of major weakness. Wilmington Trust experienced a steep EPS decline of 256.9% in the most recent quarter compared with the year-ago quarter. The company has reported a trend of declining earnings per share over the past two years, but the consensus estimate suggests that this trend should reverse in the coming year. Wilmington's gross profit margin of 23% is rather low, having decreased significantly from the same period last year, and its net profit margin of -44% is significantly below the industry average.

Shares tumbled 59.9% over the last year, underperforming the S&P 500. Naturally, the overall market trend is bound to be a significant factor, and 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 due to other concerns, we feel the stock is still not a good buy right now.

Other ratings changes include Horizon Lines ( HRZ), downgraded from hold to sell, and Vectren ( VVC), upgraded from hold to buy.

All ratings changes generated on Feb. 2 are listed below.

Ticker
Company
Current
Change
Previous
ABBC Abington Bancorp
HOLD
Downgrade
BUY
ABCB Ameris Bancorp
SELL
Downgrade
HOLD
ACXM Acxiom
SELL
Downgrade
HOLD
AMB AMB Prpoerty
SELL
Downgrade
HOLD
BIO Bio-Rad Laboratories
HOLD
Downgrade
BUY
BKH Black Hills
BUY
Upgrade
HOLD
BMTC Bryn Mawr Bank
HOLD
Downgrade
BUY
CACB Cascade Bancorp
SELL
Downgrade
HOLD
CADE Cadence Financial
SELL
Downgrade
HOLD
COST Costco Wholesale
HOLD
Downgrade
BUY
DECK Deckers Outdoor
HOLD
Downgrade
BUY
EK Eastman Kodak
SELL
Downgrade
HOLD
FCS Fairchild Semiconductor
SELL
Downgrade
HOLD
FTBK Frontier Financial
SELL
Downgrade
HOLD
HRZ Horizon Lines
SELL
Downgrade
HOLD
HRZB Horizon Financial
SELL
Downgrade
HOLD
HS HealthSpring
HOLD
Downgrade
BUY
IDTI Integrated Device Technology
SELL
Downgrade
HOLD
ISIL Intersil
SELL
Downgrade
HOLD
KLAC KLA-Tencor
FROZEN
Downgrade
HOLD
KTCC Key Tronic
SELL
Downgrade
HOLD
LNN Lindsay
HOLD
Downgrade
BUY
PTP Platinum Underwriters
HOLD
Downgrade
BUY
QUIX Quixote
SELL
Downgrade
HOLD
STRT Strattec Secrutiy
SELL
Downgrade
HOLD
VMI Valmont Industries
HOLD
Downgrade
BUY
VMII Voice Mobility
SELL
Initiated
VVC Vectren
BUY
Upgrade
HOLD
WL Wilmington Trust
SELL
Downgrade
HOLD
WRLS Telular
SELL
Downgrade
HOLD

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.

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