Note: Our quantitative model makes stock recommendations based on GAAP figures that may differ materially from data as reported by the companies themselves. As a result, rating changes are occasionally driven by so-called nonrecurring items. As always, we urge readers to use TSC Ratings' reports in conjunction with additional information to construct their opinions on the value that should be placed on any given stock.

The following ratings changes were generated on Monday, March 30.

We've downgraded Bermuda-based liquefied natural gas shipping company Golar LNG ( GLNG) from hold to sell, driven by its deteriorating net income, generally weak debt management, disappointing return on equity, weak operating cash flow and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

Net income fell from $910,000 in the same quarter last year to -$57.7 million in the most recent quarter. Golar has a debt-to-equity ratio of 3.5, which is above the industry average. Return on equity has decreased compared with the year-ago quarter. Net operating cash flow decreased 49.4% to $17.2 million.

Shares have tumbled by 79.7% over the past year, underperforming the S&P 500, and EPS are also down compared with the year-ago quarter. 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 downgraded offshore energy company Helix Energy Solutions Group ( HLX) from hold to sell, driven by its deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity, weak operating cash flow, generally weak debt management and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

Net income fell from $121.3 million in the year-ago quarter to -$859.3 million in the most recent quarter. ROE also decreased, which could signal weakness in the corporation. Net operating cash flow fell 22.4% to $105.6 million compared with the year-ago quarter. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.7, which is above the industry average, and a quick ratio of 1.2, which is somewhat strong and could demonstrate an ability to cover short-term liquidity needs.

Shares are down 80.7% over the past year, underperforming the S&P 500, and EPS are also down compared with the year-ago quarter. 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 downgraded Nippon Telegraph & Telephone ( NTT), which provides fixed and mobile voice related, IP/packet communications, system integration and other telecommunications related services, from buy to hold. Strengths include the company's robust revenue growth, attractive valuation levels and compelling growth in net income. However, we also find that the stock has had a decline in price during the past year.

Revenue rose by 45.2% since the year-ago quarter, compared with the industry average of 1.9% growth. EPS also rose compared with the year-ago quarter, but we anticipate underperformance in the coming year relative to the company's two-year pattern of positive EPS growth. Net operating cash flow rose 4.4% to $6.5 billion compared with the year-ago quarter.

Shares are down 10% 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 upgraded Universal Forest Products ( UFPI), which engages in the engineering, manufacture, treatment, distribution, and installation of lumber, composite wood, plastic and other building products, from sell to hold. Strengths include the company's increase in net income, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and good cash flow from operations. However, we also find weaknesses including disappointing return on equity, poor profit margins and a decline in the stock price during the past year.

Net income rose from -$11 million in the year-ago quarter to -$790,000 in the most recent quarter. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.2, which is below the industry average, and a quick ratio of 1, which could illustrate its ability to avoid short-term cash problems. EPS improved compared with the same quarter last year, and we think that the company is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. UFP's gross profit margin is 14.2%, though it has increased from the year-ago quarter. ROE has slightly decreased compared with the year-ago quarter.

We've initiated coverage on Xinyuan Real Estate ( XIN), which engages in the residential real estate development and provision of property management services in the People's Republic of China, at sell. This rating is driven by the company's deteriorating net income and feeble growth in its earnings per share.

Net income fell from $9.7 million in the year-ago quarter to -$77.6 million in the most recent quarter. EPS also decline, though the consensus estimate suggests that the company's yearlong trend of declining EPS should reverse in the coming year. Revenue fell by 33.5% compared with the year-ago quarter. Xinyuan has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.9, which is below the industry average, and a quick ratio of 0.7, which indicates a potential problem in covering short-term cash needs.

Shares have fallen by 40.6% over the past year, in part reflecting the overall decline in the broader market.

All ratings changes generated on March 30 are listed below.

Ticker
Company
Current
Change
Previous
GLNG
Golar LNG
SELL
Downgrade
HOLD
HLX
Helix Energy Solutions Group
SELL
Downgrade
HOLD
INET
Internet Brands
SELL
Initiated
MAIN
Main Street Capital
SELL
Initiated
NTT
Nippon Telegraph & Telephone
HOLD
Downgrade
BUY
TMM
Grupo TMM
HOLD
Upgrade
SELL
UFPI
Universal Forest Products
HOLD
Upgrade
SELL
XIN
Xinyuan Real Estate
SELL
Initiated

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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