TSC Ratings provides exclusive stock, ETF and mutual fund ratings and commentary based on award-winning, proprietary tools. Its "safety first" approach to investing aims to reduce risk while seeking solid outperformance on a total return basis.

TheStreet.com Ratings' model upgraded Avista ( AVA) to "buy." The company generates and distributes energy through its three subsidiaries: Avista Utilities, Energy Marketing and Resource Management and Advantage IQ.

The numbers: Fiscal first-quarter revenue fell 1.7% to $488 million as net income increased 23% to $31 million and earnings per share jumped 21% to 57 cents. Operating margin improved 161 basis points to 14% and net margin jumped 128 basis points to 6.4%. The company has a weak liquidity position, as indicated by just $36 million of reserves and a low quick ratio of 0.4. However, the cash balance has more than doubled since the year-earlier quarter. A debt-to-equity ratio of 1.14 is higher than ideal.

The stock: Avista is down 8% in 2009. The stock is cheap at a price-to-earnings ratio of 12 and offers an attractive 4.7% dividend yield.

The model upgraded Bally Technologies ( BYI) to "buy." The company manufactures and distributes gaming devices and computerized monitoring and accounting systems for the gaming industry.

The numbers: Fiscal third-quarter revenue decreased 11% to $208 million as net income fell 3.3% to $29 million and earnings per share remained flat at 52 cents. Operating margin improved 222 basis points to 25% and net margin climbed 109 basis points to 14%. The company has a strong liquidity position, with $70 million of cash reserves and a quick ratio of 1.5. A debt-to-equity ratio of 0.7 indicates conservative leverage.

The stock: Bally Technologies has ascended 19% in 2009, outperforming all major U.S. indexes. The stock trades at a fair price-to-earnings ratio of 13 and doesn't pay dividends.

The model upgraded Credit Acceptance ( CACC) to "buy." The company provides auto loans to consumers in the U.S.

The numbers: Fiscal first-quarter revenue increased 24% to $88 million as net income surged 65% to $29 million and earnings per share improved 63% to 93 cents. Operating margin ascended 678 basis points to 61% and net margin climbed 810 basis points to 33%. The company has a strong liquidity position, with over $90 million of cash. But a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.7 indicates excessive leverage.

The stock: Credit Acceptance is up 72% in 2009, outperforming all major U.S. indexes. The stock is still cheap at a price-to-earnings ratio of 9.4, but doesn't pay dividends.

The model upgraded Idacorp ( IDA) to "buy." The company is an electric utility serving southern Idaho and eastern Oregon.

The numbers: Fiscal first-quarter revenue increased 5.6% to $229 million as net income fell 13% to $19 million and earnings per share declined 17% to 40 cents. Operating margin dropped 538 basis points to 16% and net margin decreased 191 basis points to 8.3%. The company has a weak cash position, with a quick ratio of 0.5 and just $90 million of reserves, compared to $1.5 billion of debt and $18 million of quarterly interest expenses. And a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.2 indicates excessive leverage.

The stock: Idacorp has declined 15% in 2009, underperforming all major U.S. indexes. But the stock is cheap at a price-to-earnings ratio of about 12 and offers an attractive 4.8% dividend yield.

The model upgraded Wolverine World Wide ( WWW) to "buy." The company makes and sells footwear, apparel and accessories to the retail sector in the U.S., Canada and Europe.

The numbers: Fiscal first-quarter revenue fell 11% to $255 million as net income dropped 56% to $11 million as earnings per share declined 54% to 21 cents. Operating margin narrowed 120 basis points to 12% and net margin halved to 4%. The company boasts $57 million of cash reserves and a quick ratio of 1.3. A debt-to-equity ratio of 0.22 suggests a modest debt load.

The stock: Wolverine is up 1% in 2009, outperforming the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500. The stock trades at a fair price-to-earnings ratio of 13 and offers a lackluster 2% dividend yield.