ON Semiconductor, Nordson: Rating Changes

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BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- TheStreet.com's stock-rating model upgraded ON Semiconductor ( ONNN) to "hold."

The numbers: The company swung to a second-quarter loss of $3 million, or 1 cent per share, from a profit of $34 million, or 9 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. Revenue fell 25% to $420 million. Its gross margin fell from 46% to 40% and its operating margin dropped from 15% to 5%. A quick ratio of 1.1 indicates adequate liquidity. A debt-to-equity ratio of 1.1 reflects higher-than-ideal leverage.

The stock: ON Semiconductor has advanced 156% this year, outpacing major U.S. indices, despite three consecutive quarterly losses. The company doesn't pay dividends.

The model upgraded machinery maker Nordson ( NDSN) to "buy."

The numbers: Fiscal third-quarter net income fell 26% to $24 million and earnings per share dropped 24% to 71 cents. Revenue declined 29% to $207 million. Its gross margin rose from 59% to 63% and its operating margin increased from 18% to 19%. A quick ratio of 1.6 reflects ample liquidity. A debt-to-equity ratio of 0.3 demonstrates modest leverage.

The stock: Nordson is up 77% this year, beating major U.S. indices. The stock trades at a price-to-earnings ratio of 24, a premium to the market and machinery peers. The shares pay a 1.3% dividend yield.

The model upgraded gold miner Golden Star Resources ( GSS) to "hold."

The numbers: The company swung to a second-quarter profit of $380,000, or breakeven per share, from a loss of $7 million, or 3 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. Revenue increased 30% to $92 million. Its gross margin rose from 16% to 36%, but its operating margin remained in shallow negative territory. A quick ratio of 0.7 indicates less-than-ideal liquidity. But a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.3 demonstrates conservative leverage.

The stock: Golden Star Resources has climbed 264% this year, more than major U.S. indices. Prior to the second-quarter, the company posted nine consecutive quarterly losses. The stock doesn't pay dividends.

The model upgraded semiconductor manufacturer Standard Microsystems ( SMSC) to "hold."

The numbers: The company swung to a fiscal first-quarter loss of $9.2 million, or 42 cents a share, from a profit of $4.5 million, or 20 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. Revenue declined 33% to $62 million. Its gross margin dropped from 56% to 52% and its operating margin descended into negative territory. A quick ratio of 2.1 demonstrates strong liquidity and the company holds no debt.

The stock: Standard Microsystems has risen 47% this year, outpacing major U.S. indices. The company has posted two consecutive quarterly losses. The stock doesn't pay dividends.

The model downgraded oil and gas transporter Knightsbridge Tankers ( VLCCF) to "sell."

The numbers: Second-quarter net income plummeted 78% to $3.1 million, or 18 cents a share, as revenue fell 36% to $14 million. Its gross margin decreased from 82% to 52% and its operating margin dropped from 65% to 25%. The company holds $47 million of cash, compared to $99 million of debt. A debt-to-equity ratio of 0.4 reflects a balanced capital structure.

The stock: Knightsbridge Tankers is down 7% this year, trailing major U.S. indices. The stock trades at a price-to-earnings ratio of 8, a discount to the market and oil and gas transportation peers. The company has not paid a dividend since February.

-- Reported by Jake Lynch in Boston.

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