NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- These stocks were upgraded to buy by TheStreet Ratings on Wednesday: Whirlpool ( WHR), Post Properties ( PPS) and P.F. Chang's China Bistro ( PFCB). Whirlpool The home appliances manufacturer reported last week fourth-quarter earnings of $205 million, or $2.62 a share, an increase from year-earlier earnings of $171 million, or $2.19 a share. Shares of the company sold off at the end of December when retailer Sears ( SHLD) announced declining holiday sales and that it would be closing up to 120 Kmart and Sears stores. The stock fell about 47% in 2011 and has risen 49% year to date. Whirlpool is benefiting from an improving economy. "Whirlpool expects to generate $100M-$150M of FCF (before dividends) as cash sources are projected to exceed cash uses of $914M. Including dividends ($148M in FY11), we see FY12 FCF flat to slightly negative, making it likely that the Company will refinance its $350M May 2012 notes," Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts wrote in a Feb. 7 report. "Leverage at 1.7x total debt/EBITDA earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization is low relative to its low-BBB credit rating and incremental debt issuance should not result in negative ratings actions. An upgrade to WHR's mid-BBB target in FY12 would require a significant improvement in industry outlook and solid top-line and EBITDA growth, which we think is unlikely given the macroeconomic backdrop." Whirlpool was upgraded to a buy from a from a hold by TheStreet Ratings. Of the seven analysts who cover the company, three rated it a buy. Two analysts considered the company a hold and two considered it a sell. Whirlpool has an estimated price-to-earnings ratio for next year of 9.42; the average for durable household product companies is 11.34. For comparison, Tupperware ( TUP) has a forward P/E of 11.06 and Lifetime Brands ( LCUT) has a forward P/E of 6.66. TheStreet Ratings gives Whirlpool a B- grade with a $81.70 price target. The stock closed Tuesday at $70.70.