TheStreet Ratings Top 10 Rating Changes

NEW YORK ( TheStreet Ratings) -- Every trading day TheStreet Ratings' stock model reviews the investment ratings on around 4,700 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 89 U.S. common stocks for week ending March 9, 2012. 60 stocks were upgraded and 29 stocks were downgraded by our stock model.

Rating Change #10

Spectrum Brands Holdings Inc ( SPB) has been downgraded by TheStreet Ratings from buy to hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income and solid stock price performance. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including generally poor debt management and weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • SPECTRUM BRANDS HOLDINGS 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. This trend suggests that the performance of the business is improving. During the past fiscal year, SPECTRUM BRANDS HOLDINGS INC continued to lose money by earning -$1.47 versus -$5.56 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.52 versus -$1.47).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Household Products industry. The net income increased by 166.2% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$19.76 million to $13.07 million.
  • After a year of stock price fluctuations, the net result is that SPB's price has not changed very much. Although its weak earnings growth may have played a role in this flat result, don't lose sight of the fact that the performance of the overall market, as measured by the S&P 500 Index, was essentially similar. Despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year, there is currently no conclusive evidence that warrants the purchase or sale of this stock.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$89.00 million or 75.80% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.
  • Currently the debt-to-equity ratio of 1.77 is quite high overall and when compared to the industry average, suggesting that the current management of debt levels should be re-evaluated. Along with the unfavorable debt-to-equity ratio, SPB maintains a poor quick ratio of 0.89, which illustrates the inability to avoid short-term cash problems.
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Spectrum Brands Holdings, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates as a consumer products company worldwide. Spectrum has a market cap of $1.52 billion and is part of the consumer goods sector and consumer durables industry. Shares are up 5.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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

Rating Change #9

Coeur D'Alene Mines Corporation ( CDE) 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 impressive record of earnings per share growth. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself and weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 5.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 18.9%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • CDE's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.07 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Along with the favorable debt-to-equity ratio, the company maintains an adequate quick ratio of 1.11, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • The gross profit margin for COEUR D'ALENE MINES CORP is rather high; currently it is at 55.80%. Regardless of CDE's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, CDE's net profit margin of 4.60% is significantly lower than the same period one year prior.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $87.41 million or 32.44% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite a decrease in cash flow COEUR D'ALENE MINES CORP is still fairing well by exceeding its industry average cash flow growth rate of -52.84%.
  • CDE's stock share price has done very poorly compared to where it was a year ago: Despite any rallies, the net result is that it is down by 25.51%, which is also worse that the performance of the S&P 500 Index. Investors have so far failed to pay much attention to the earnings improvements the company has managed to achieve over the last quarter. Despite the heavy decline in its share price, this stock is still more expensive (when compared to its current earnings) than most other companies in its industry.
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Coeur d'Alene Mines Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, engages in the ownership, operation, exploration, and development of silver and gold mining properties located primarily in South America, Mexico, the United States, and Australia. The company also explores for lead and zinc ores. The company has a P/E ratio of 25.8, below the average metals & mining industry P/E ratio of 126.5 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Coeur D'Alene Mines has a market cap of $2.38 billion and is part of the basic materials sector and metals & mining industry. Shares are up 11.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

You can view the full Coeur D'Alene Mines Ratings Report or get investment ideas from our investment research center.

Rating Change #8

Medivation Inc ( MDVN) has been downgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity, weak operating cash flow and feeble growth in its earnings per share.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • 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 Biotechnology industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 179.5% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from -$3.89 million to -$10.87 million.
  • Return on equity has greatly decreased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of major weakness within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Biotechnology industry and the overall market, MEDIVATION INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$25.74 million or 626.53% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.
  • MEDIVATION 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 year. However, the consensus estimate suggests that this trend should reverse in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, MEDIVATION INC reported poor results of -$1.11 versus -$0.99 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings (-$0.47 versus -$1.11).
  • MDVN, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 3.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 10.2%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
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Medivation, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, focuses on the development of small molecule drugs for the treatment of castration-resistant prostate cancer, Alzheimer's disease, and Huntington disease. Medivation has a market cap of $1.83 billion and is part of the health care sector and drugs industry. Shares are up 39.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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

Rating Change #7

EV Energy Partner LP ( EVEP) 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, expanding profit margins and increase in net income. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including disappointing return on equity, weak operating cash flow and generally poor debt management.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 22.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 38.0%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • The gross profit margin for EV ENERGY PARTNERS LP is rather high; currently it is at 64.90%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 14.50% is above that of the industry average.
  • 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. In comparison to the other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, EV ENERGY PARTNERS LP's return on equity is significantly below that of the industry average and is below that of the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has declined marginally to $33.21 million or 0.52% when compared to the same quarter last year. In conjunction, when comparing current results to the industry average, EV ENERGY PARTNERS LP has marginally lower results.
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EV Energy Partners, L.P. engages in the acquisition, development, and production of oil and natural gas properties in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 26.7, below the average energy industry P/E ratio of 40.8 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. EV Energy Partner has a market cap of $2.19 billion and is part of the basic materials sector and energy industry. Shares are up 9.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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

Rating Change #6

FirstEnergy Corp ( FE) 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 solid stock price performance. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including unimpressive growth in net income, generally poor debt management and disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 8.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 24.9%. 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.
  • Looking at where the stock is today compared to one year ago, we find that it is not only higher, but it has also clearly outperformed the rise in the S&P 500 over the same period, despite the company's weak earnings results. Looking ahead, the stock's rise over the last year has already helped drive it to a level which is relatively expensive compared to the rest of its industry, implying reduced upside potential.
  • FIRSTENERGY CORP 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, FIRSTENERGY CORP reported lower earnings of $2.13 versus $2.58 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($3.44 versus $2.13).
  • The gross profit margin for FIRSTENERGY CORP is currently extremely low, coming in at 4.40%. It has decreased significantly from the same period last year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 2.50% trails that of the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $834.00 million or 16.84% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing the cash generation rate to the industry average, the firm's growth is significantly lower.
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Firstenergy Corp. operates as a diversified energy company. The company, through its subsidiaries and affiliates, involves in the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity, as well as energy management and other energy-related services. The company has a P/E ratio of 20.2, above the average utilities industry P/E ratio of 17.1 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. FirstEnergy has a market cap of $17.26 billion and is part of the utilities sector and utilities industry. Shares are up 0.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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

Rating Change #5

Government Properties Income Trust ( GOV) 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, compelling growth in net income, reasonable valuation levels and impressive record of earnings per share growth. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 17.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 40.1%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.49, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has greatly exceeded that of the S&P 500, but is less than that of the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry average. The net income increased by 102.5% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $6.54 million to $13.25 million.
  • GOVERNMENT PPTYS INCOME TR 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. However, we anticipate underperformance relative to this pattern in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, GOVERNMENT PPTYS INCOME TR increased its bottom line by earning $1.06 versus $0.83 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 3.8% in earnings ($1.02 versus $1.06).
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Government Properties Income Trust operates as a real estate investment trust (REIT) in the United States. It primarily owns and leases office buildings that are leased mainly to government tenants. The company has a P/E ratio of 22.3, below the average real estate industry P/E ratio of 25.7 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Government Properties Income has a market cap of $1.12 billion and is part of the financial sector and real estate industry. Shares are up 5% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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

Rating Change #4

Loral Space & Communications Inc ( LORL) has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its reasonable valuation levels and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat weak growth in earnings per share.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The gross profit margin for LORAL SPACE & COMMUNICATIONS is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 25.40%. Regardless of LORL's low profit margin, it has managed to increase from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, LORL's net profit margin of 34.90% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • LORL, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 18.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 6.3%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • The share price of LORAL SPACE & COMMUNICATIONS has not done very well: it is down 6.41% 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, although the push and pull of the overall market trend could certainly make a critical difference, we do not see any strong reason stemming from the company's fundamentals that would cause a continuation of last year's decline. In fact, the stock is now selling for less than others in its industry in relation to its current earnings.
  • LORAL SPACE & COMMUNICATIONS 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 suffered a declining pattern earnings per share over the past two years. During the past fiscal year, LORAL SPACE & COMMUNICATIONS reported lower earnings of $3.77 versus $15.47 in the prior year.
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Loral Space & Communications Inc. operates as a satellite communications company. The company has a P/E ratio of 18.5, above the average telecommunications industry P/E ratio of five and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Loral Space has a market cap of $1.44 billion and is part of the technology sector and telecommunications industry. Shares are up 13.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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

Rating Change #3

Domino's Pizza Inc ( DPZ) has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, revenue growth and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 33.33% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 122.51% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, DPZ should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
  • DOMINO'S PIZZA INC has improved earnings per share by 33.3% 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, DOMINO'S PIZZA INC increased its bottom line by earning $1.71 versus $1.44 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.94 versus $1.71).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Hotels, Restaurants & Leisure industry average. The net income increased by 27.9% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $24.17 million to $30.91 million.
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 14.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 4.5%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • Regardless of the somewhat mixed results with the debt-to-equity ratio, the company's quick ratio of 1.17 is sturdy.
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Domino's Pizza, Inc., through its subsidiaries, operates as a pizza delivery company in the United States and internationally. The company sells and delivers pizzas under the Domino's Pizza brand name. The company has a P/E ratio of 22.5, above the average leisure industry P/E ratio of 21.7 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Domino's Pizza has a market cap of $1.97 billion and is part of the services sector and leisure industry. Shares are up 13.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

You can view the full Domino's Pizza Ratings Report or get investment ideas from our investment research center.

Rating Change #2

Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Inc ( RBA) 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, compelling growth in net income, 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 lackluster performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 1.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 28.4%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • The gross profit margin for RITCHIE BROS AUCTIONEERS INC is currently very high, coming in at 88.10%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 23.60% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 68.01% to -$22.45 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, RITCHIE BROS AUCTIONEERS INC has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -0.45%.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Commercial Services & Supplies industry. The net income increased by 98.0% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $13.52 million to $26.77 million.
  • RITCHIE BROS AUCTIONEERS 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. During the past fiscal year, RITCHIE BROS AUCTIONEERS INC increased its bottom line by earning $0.72 versus $0.63 in the prior year.
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Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Incorporated, an industrial auctioneer, sells various equipment to on-site and online bidders worldwide. The company has a P/E ratio of 32.6, below the average diversified services industry P/E ratio of 39.2 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers has a market cap of $2.5 billion and is part of the services sector and diversified services industry. Shares are up 5.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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

Rating Change #1

Weingarten Realty Investors ( WRI) has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in net income, revenue growth, good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.

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 Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry. The net income increased by 395.4% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $6.27 million to $31.04 million.
  • WRI's revenue growth trails the industry average of 17.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 0.4%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • Net operating cash flow has slightly increased to $62.05 million or 9.67% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, WEINGARTEN REALTY INVST has also modestly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 2.81%.
  • 36.60% is the gross profit margin for WEINGARTEN REALTY INVST which we consider to be strong. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Regardless of the strong results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 21.90% trails the industry average.
  • After a year of stock price fluctuations, the net result is that WRI's price has not changed very much. Although its weak earnings growth may have played a role in this flat result, don't lose sight of the fact that the performance of the overall market, as measured by the S&P 500 Index, was essentially similar. Looking ahead, unless broad bear market conditions prevail, we still see more upside potential for this stock, despite the fact that it has already risen over the past year.
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Weingarten Realty Investors operates as a real estate investment trust (REIT). The company engages in the management, acquisition, and development of real estate. It operates in two segments, Shopping Center and Industrial. Weingarten Realty Investors has a market cap of $2.93 billion and is part of the financial sector and real estate industry. Shares are up 14.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

You can view the full Weingarten Realty Investors 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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