TheStreet Ratings Top 10 Rating Changes

NEW YORK ( TheStreet Ratings) -- Every trading day TheStreet Ratings' stock model reviews the investment ratings on around 4,900 U.S. traded stocks for potential upgrades or downgrades based on the latest available financial results and trading activity.

TheStreet Ratings released rating changes on 160 U.S. common stocks for week ending August 5, 2011. 79 stocks were upgraded and 81 stocks were downgraded by our stock model.

Rating Change #10

Continental Resources ( CLR) has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The gross profit margin for CONTINENTAL RESOURCES INC is currently very high, coming in at 87.70%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 39.70% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry. The net income increased by 135.1% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $101.74 million to $239.19 million.
  • CONTINENTAL RESOURCES INC reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past year. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, CONTINENTAL RESOURCES INC increased its bottom line by earning $0.99 versus $0.42 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.53 versus $0.99).
  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.45, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels.
  • CLR's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 44.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 115.3%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.

Continental Resources, Inc. engages in the exploration and production of crude oil and natural gas primarily in the north, south, and east regions of the United States. Continental has a market cap of $11.8 billion and is part of the basic materials sector and energy industry. Shares are down 4.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

You can view the full Continental Ratings Report or get investment ideas from our investment research center.

Rating Change #9

EOG Resources ( EOG) has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations and increase in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry. The net income increased by 393.7% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $59.87 million to $295.57 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 63.24% to $1,111.75 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, EOG RESOURCES INC has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 12.91%.
  • The gross profit margin for EOG RESOURCES INC is currently very high, coming in at 81.60%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 12.30% is above that of the industry average.
  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.43, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels. Along with the favorable debt-to-equity ratio, the company maintains an adequate quick ratio of 1.17, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • EOG's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 44.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 78.2%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.

EOG Resources, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, engages in the exploration, development, production, and marketing of natural gas and crude oil primarily in the United States, Canada, the Republic of Trinidad, Tobago, the United Kingdom, and the People's Republic of China. The company has a P/E ratio of 142, equal to the average energy industry P/E ratio and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. EOG has a market cap of $26.3 billion and is part of the basic materials sector and energy industry. Shares are up 0.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

You can view the full EOG Ratings Report or get investment ideas from our investment research center.

Rating Change #8

Time Warner ( TWX) has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its growth in earnings per share, revenue growth, attractive valuation levels, good cash flow from operations and expanding profit margins. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • 44.80% is the gross profit margin for TIME WARNER INC which we consider to be strong. Regardless of TWX's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, TWX's net profit margin of 9.10% compares favorably to the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $43.00 million or 34.37% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of 17.20%.
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 17.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 10.2%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • TIME WARNER INC has improved earnings per share by 20.4% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, TIME WARNER INC increased its bottom line by earning $2.25 versus $1.76 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.76 versus $2.25).

Time Warner Inc. operates as a media and entertainment company in the United States and internationally. It operates in three segments: Networks, Filmed Entertainment, and Publishing. The company has a P/E ratio of 15.3, equal to the average media industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Time Warner has a market cap of $36.4 billion and is part of the services sector and media industry. Shares are up 4.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

You can view the full Time Warner Ratings Report or get investment ideas from our investment research center.

Rating Change #7

Anadarko Petroleum Corp ( APC) has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, growth in earnings per share, increase in net income, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $1,837.00 million or 17.30% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, ANADARKO PETROLEUM CORP has also modestly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 13.21%.
  • The gross profit margin for ANADARKO PETROLEUM CORP is rather high; currently it is at 68.90%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 14.60% is above that of the industry average.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry. The net income increased by 1460.0% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$40.00 million to $544.00 million.
  • ANADARKO PETROLEUM CORP reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past year. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, ANADARKO PETROLEUM CORP turned its bottom line around by earning $1.52 versus -$0.34 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($3.52 versus $1.52).
  • APC's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 44.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 45.7%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.

Anadarko Petroleum Corporation engages in the exploration and production of oil and gas properties primarily in the United States, the deepwater of the Gulf of Mexico, and Algeria. The company has a P/E ratio of 48.9, below the average energy industry P/E ratio of 49.1 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Anadarko has a market cap of $41.1 billion and is part of the basic materials sector and energy industry. Shares are up 8.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

You can view the full Anadarko Ratings Report or get investment ideas from our investment research center.

Rating Change #6

General Electric Company ( GE) has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its growth in earnings per share, compelling growth in net income, attractive valuation levels, increase in stock price during the past year and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally poor debt management on most measures that we evaluated.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The stock price has risen over the past year, but, despite its earnings growth and some other positive factors, it has underperformed the S&P 500 so far. The stock's price rise over the last year has driven it to a level which is somewhat expensive compared to the rest of its industry. We feel, however, that other strengths this company displays justify these higher price levels.
  • GE, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 22.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 5.8%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the Industrial Conglomerates industry average, but is less than that of the S&P 500. The net income increased by 21.1% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $3,109.00 million to $3,764.00 million.
  • GENERAL ELECTRIC CO has improved earnings per share by 10.0% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past year. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, GENERAL ELECTRIC CO increased its bottom line by earning $1.15 versus $1.02 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.40 versus $1.15).

General Electric Company (GE) operates as a technology, media, and financial services company worldwide. The company has a P/E ratio of 15.8, above the average conglomerates industry P/E ratio of 14 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. General Electric has a market cap of $189.9 billion and is part of the conglomerates sector and conglomerates industry. Shares are down 1.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

You can view the full General Electric Ratings Report or get investment ideas from our investment research center.

Rating Change #5

Integrys Energy Group ( TEG) has been downgraded by TheStreet Ratings from buy to hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and notable return on equity. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including unimpressive growth in net income, poor profit margins and weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $192.70 million or 43.15% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.
  • The gross profit margin for INTEGRYS ENERGY GROUP INC is currently extremely low, coming in at 12.90%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 3.00% trails that of the industry average.
  • The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Multi-Utilities industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, INTEGRYS ENERGY GROUP INC has outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is somewhat low, currently at 0.77, and is less than that of the industry average, implying that there has been a relatively successful effort in the management of debt levels.

Integrys Energy Group, Inc., through its subsidiaries, operates as a regulated electric and natural gas utility company in the United States and Canada. It provides natural gas utility services in Chicago, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Minnesota. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.2, equal to the average utilities industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Integrys Energy Group has a market cap of $3.9 billion and is part of the utilities sector and utilities industry. Shares are up 1.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

You can view the full Integrys Energy Group Ratings Report or get investment ideas from our investment research center.

Rating Change #4

Boardwalk Pipeline Partners ( BWP) has been downgraded by TheStreet Ratings from buy to hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself and unimpressive growth in net income.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The share price of BOARDWALK PIPELINE PRTNRS-LP has not done very well: it is down 7.31% and has underperformed the S&P 500, in part reflecting the company's sharply declining earnings per share when compared to the year-earlier quarter. Looking ahead, we do not see anything in this company's numbers that would change the one-year trend. It was down over the last twelve months; and it could be down again in the next twelve. Naturally, a bull or bear market could sway the movement of this stock.
  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 72.0% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $54.40 million to $15.20 million.
  • The gross profit margin for BOARDWALK PIPELINE PRTNRS-LP is rather high; currently it is at 53.40%. Regardless of BWP's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 5.80% trails the industry average.
  • BOARDWALK PIPELINE PRTNRS-LP has exprienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, BOARDWALK PIPELINE PRTNRS-LP increased its bottom line by earning $1.48 versus $0.87 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.50 versus $1.48).
  • The revenue growth significantly trails the industry average of 44.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 2.1%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.

Boardwalk Pipeline Partners, LP, through its subsidiaries, engages in the interstate transportation and storage of natural gas in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 19.9, equal to the average energy industry P/E ratio and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Boardwalk Pipeline has a market cap of $4.8 billion and is part of the basic materials sector and energy industry. Shares are down 8.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

You can view the full Boardwalk Pipeline Ratings Report or get investment ideas from our investment research center.

Rating Change #3

Alpha Natural Resources Inc ( ANR) has been downgraded by TheStreet Ratings from buy to hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and poor profit margins.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $115.72 million or 40.55% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.
  • The gross profit margin for ALPHA NATURAL RESOURCES INC is rather low; currently it is at 17.60%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of -3.50% is significantly below that of the industry average.
  • ALPHA NATURAL RESOURCES INC has exprienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from the same quarter a year ago. The company has reported a trend of declining earnings per share over the past two years. However, the consensus estimate suggests that this trend should reverse in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, ALPHA NATURAL RESOURCES INC reported lower earnings of $0.80 versus $0.91 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($4.29 versus $0.80).
  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.42, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels. Although the company had a strong debt-to-equity ratio, its quick ratio of 0.77 is somewhat weak and could be cause for future problems.
  • ANR's very impressive revenue growth exceeded the industry average of 44.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 59.3%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.

Alpha Natural Resources, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, engages in the production, processing, and sale of coal in the United States. The company offers metallurgical coal for use in the steel-making process; and thermal coal to electric utilities and manufacturing industries. The company has a P/E ratio of 36.8, equal to the average metals & mining industry P/E ratio and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Alpha Natural has a market cap of $4.8 billion and is part of the basic materials sector and metals & mining industry. Shares are down 44.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

You can view the full Alpha Natural Ratings Report or get investment ideas from our investment research center.

Rating Change #2

Allstate Corporation ( ALL) has been downgraded by TheStreet Ratings from buy to hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and reasonable valuation levels. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to $534.00 million or 52.74% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.
  • The company's current return on equity has slightly decreased from the same quarter one year prior. This implies a minor weakness in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Insurance industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, ALLSTATE CORP underperformed against that of the industry average and is significantly less than that of the S&P 500.
  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.31, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels.
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 8.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 5.1%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.

The Allstate Corporation, through its subsidiaries, engages in the personal property and casualty insurance, life insurance, retirement, and investment products businesses primarily in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 11.3, equal to the average insurance industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Allstate has a market cap of $14.5 billion and is part of the financial sector and insurance industry. Shares are down 11.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

You can view the full Allstate Ratings Report or get investment ideas from our investment research center.

Rating Change #1

CenturyLink ( CTL) has been downgraded by TheStreet Ratings from buy to hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, deteriorating net income and disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • In its most recent trading session, CTL has closed at a price level that was not very different from its closing price of one year earlier. This is probably due to its weak earnings growth as well as other mixed factors. Looking ahead, other than the push or pull of the broad market, we do not see anything in the company's numbers that may help reverse the decline experienced over the past 12 months. Despite the past decline, the stock is still selling for more than most others in its industry.
  • Current return on equity is lower than its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of weakness within the company. Compared to other companies in the Diversified Telecommunication Services industry and the overall market, CENTURYLINK INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for CENTURYLINK INC is rather high; currently it is at 60.20%. Regardless of CTL's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 2.30% trails the industry average.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is somewhat low, currently at 0.99, and is less than that of the industry average, implying that there has been a relatively successful effort in the management of debt levels.
  • CTL's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 11.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 148.6%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.

CenturyTel, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates as an integrated communications company. The company has a P/E ratio of 12.4, equal to the average telecommunications industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. CenturyLink has a market cap of $22.2 billion and is part of the technology sector and telecommunications industry. Shares are down 24.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

You can view the full CenturyLink Ratings Report or get investment ideas from our investment research center.

-- Reported by Kevin Baker in Jupiter, Fla.

For additional Investment Research check out our Ratings Research Center.

For all other upgrades and downgrades made by TheStreet Ratings Model today check out our upgrades and downgrades list.

Kevin Baker became the senior financial analyst for TheStreet Ratings upon the August 2006 acquisition of Weiss Ratings by TheStreet.com, covering equity and mutual fund ratings. He joined the Weiss Group in 1997 as a banking and brokerage analyst. In 1999, he created the Weiss Group's first ratings to gauge the level of risk in U.S. equities. Baker received a B.S. degree in management from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and an M.B.A. with a finance specialization from Nova Southeastern University.

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