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BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- TheStreet.com's stock-rating model upgraded Central Garden & Pet ( CENTA), a seller of garden- and pet-supply products, to "hold."

The numbers: Fiscal third-quarter revenue declined 2% to $482 million, but profit doubled to $31 million, or 44 cents a share. Its gross margin rose from 33% to 36% and its operating margin climbed from 7% to 11%. Over $25 million of cash and a quick ratio of 1.2 demonstrate adequate liquidity. A debt-to-equity ratio of 0.7 indicates reasonable leverage.

The stock: Central Garden & Pet is up 83% this year, outpacing major U.S. indices. The stock trades at a price-to-earnings ratio of 17, indicating a discount to the market, but parity with household products peers. The company doesn't pay dividends.

The model upgraded FMC Technologies ( FTI), a provider of oil and gas technology services, to "buy."

The numbers: Second-quarter net income remained steady at $106 million, but earnings per share climbed 12% to 84 cents, boosted by a lower share count. Revenue fell 6% to $1.1 billion. Its gross margin rose from 22% to 24% and its operating margin increased from 12% to 13%. A quick ratio of 0.7 indicates less-than-ideal liquidity. A debt-to-equity ratio of 0.4 is below the industry average, indicating restrained leverage.

The stock: FMC Technologies has surged 117% this year, beating major U.S. indices. The stock trades at a price-to-earnings ratio of 18, a discount to the market, but a premium to oil and gas equipment peers. The company doesn't pay dividends.

The model downgraded trucker Heartland Express ( HTLD) to "hold."

The numbers: Second-quarter net income rose 2% to $18 million and earnings per share jumped 6% to 19 cents, boosted by a lower share count. Revenue declined 29% to $117 million. Its gross margin rose from 19% to 26% and its operating margin increased from 13% to 15%. A quick ratio of 0.8 demonstrates less-than-ideal liquidity. But the company has no debt or interest expenses.

The stock: Heartland Express has fallen 9% this year, lagging behind major U.S. indices. The stock trades at a price-to-earnings ratio of 19, indicating parity with the market, but a premium to trucking peers. Shares pay a 0.6% dividend yield.

The model upgraded Lam Research ( LRCX), a maker of semiconductor-processing equipment, to "hold."

The numbers: The company swung to a fiscal fourth-quarter loss of $88 million, or 70 cents a share, from a profit of $72 million, or 57 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. Revenue tumbled 62% to $218 million. Its gross margin dropped from 47% to 39% and its operating margin fell from 15% into negative territory. The company has an ideal financial position, with $579 million of cash and just $46 million of debt.

The stock: Lam Research has advanced 58% this year, more than major U.S. indices. The company has posted losses for three consecutive periods. The stock doesn't pay dividends.

The model upgraded Taleo ( TLEO), a seller of talent management software, to "hold."

The numbers: The company swung to a second-quarter profit of $140,000, or breakeven per share, from a loss of $50,000, or breakeven per share, in the year-earlier period. Revenue grew 30% to $49 million. Its gross margin rose from 75% to 80%, but its operating margin remained in negative territory. A quick ratio of 1.2 indicates adequate liquidity. The company holds minimal debt.

The stock: Taleo has risen 181% this year, beating major U.S. indices. Prior to the second-quarter, Taleo posted three consecutive quarterly losses. The company doesn't pay dividends.

-- Reported by Jake Lynch in Boston.

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