Alico, Pyramid Oil: Ratings Changes

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BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- TheStreet.com's stock-rating model downgraded Alico ( ALCO), a land manager and commercial farmer, to "sell."

The numbers: Fiscal third-quarter net income plummeted 89% to $600,000, or 8 cents a share. Revenue declined 26% to $31 million. Its gross margin decreased from 20% to 18% and its operating margin remained steady at 7%. Alico has a stable financial position, evident in its quick ratio of 2.7 and debt-to-equity ratio of 0.7.

The stock: Alico is down 33% this year, trailing major U.S. indices. The stock offers a 2% dividend yield.

The model downgraded Beneficial Mutual Bancorp ( BNCL) to "hold."

The numbers: The company swung to a second-quarter loss of $50,000 from a profit of $9.1 million a year earlier because of increased credit costs and deposit insurance expenses. Revenue declined 1% to $53 million. Its gross margin fell from 59% to 56% and its operating margin dropped from 24% to 19%. The company is adequately capitalized, with $42 million of reserves. A debt-to-equity ratio of 0.7 demonstrates reasonable leverage.

The stock: Beneficial Mutual has fallen 22% this year, lagging behind major U.S. indices. The stock trades at a price-to-earnings ratio of 106, a premium to the market and financial peers.

The model downgraded CKX Lands ( CKX), an owner of land and mineral interests in Louisiana, to "hold."

The numbers: Second-quarter net income dropped 74% to $130,000, or 7 cents a share, as revenue fell 69% to $300,000. Its gross margin declined from 91% to 89% and its operating margin decreased from 82% to 55%. The company has a superlative financial position, with zero debt and ample liquidity, demonstrated by its quick ratio of 148.

The stock: CKX Lands has dropped 13% this year, underperforming major U.S. indices. The stock trades at a price-to-earnings ratio of 16, a discount to the market and real estate peers. The shares offer a 2.4% dividend yield.

The model downgraded oil and gas explorer Pyramid Oil ( PDO) to "sell."

The numbers: Pyramid Oil swung to a second-quarter loss of $40,000, or 1 cent a share, from profit of $910,000, or 19 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. Revenue fell 62% to $800,000. Its gross margin dropped from 75% to 50% and its operating margin plummeted from 55% to less than 1%. The company has a stable financial position, with minimal debt, strong liquidity and a quick ratio of 11.

The stock: Pyramid Oil is up 6% this year, trailing major U.S. indices. The company doesn't pay dividends and has had erratic operating results over the past two years.

-- Reported by Jake Lynch in Boston.

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