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 56 U.S. common stocks for week ending April 13, 2012. 25 stocks were upgraded and 31 stocks were downgraded by our stock model.

Rating Change #10

Associated Banc-Corp ( ASBC) 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 expanding profit margins. 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:
  • ASSOCIATED BANC-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 two years. We feel that this trend should continue. This trend suggests that the performance of the business is improving. During the past fiscal year, ASSOCIATED BANC-CORP turned its bottom line around by earning $0.67 versus -$0.18 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.95 versus $0.67).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Commercial Banks industry. The net income increased by 193.6% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $14.01 million to $41.13 million.
  • ASBC, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 2.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 6.8%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to $67.13 million or 56.70% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.
  • ASBC has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 7.65% from its price level of one year ago. 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.
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Associated Banc-Corp, a bank holding company, offers various banking and financial services to individuals and businesses primarily in Wisconsin, Illinois, and Minnesota. Its Banking segment provides loans and deposit products to businesses, governments, and consumers. The company has a P/E ratio of 20.2, equal to the average banking industry P/E ratio and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Associated Banc-Corp has a market cap of $2.32 billion and is part of the financial sector and banking industry. Shares are up 21.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

You can view the full Associated Banc-Corp Ratings Report or get investment ideas from our investment research center.

Rating Change #9

AECOM Technology Corporation ( ACM) 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, attractive valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including unimpressive growth in net income, disappointing return on equity and poor profit margins.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 9.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 4.8%. 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.
  • Despite currently having a low debt-to-equity ratio of 0.51, it is higher than that of the industry average, inferring that management of debt levels may need to be evaluated further. Despite the fact that ACM's debt-to-equity ratio is mixed in its results, the company's quick ratio of 1.63 is high and demonstrates strong liquidity.
  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and greatly underperformed compared to the Construction & Engineering industry average. The net income has decreased by 15.7% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, dropping from $56.87 million to $47.93 million.
  • 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. When compared to other companies in the Construction & Engineering industry and the overall market, AECOM TECHNOLOGY CORP's return on equity is below that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
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AECOM Technology Corporation provides professional technical and management support services for commercial and government clients worldwide. The company has a P/E ratio of 9.7, equal to the average diversified services industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. AECOM Technology has a market cap of $2.6 billion and is part of the services sector and diversified services industry. Shares are up 5.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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

Rating Change #8

Pan American Silver Corporation ( PAAS) 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 notable return on equity. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the stock has had a generally disappointing performance in the past year.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 10.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 11.7%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • PAAS's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.02 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Along with this, the company maintains a quick ratio of 3.35, which clearly demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • The gross profit margin for PAN AMERICAN SILVER CORP is rather high; currently it is at 53.30%. Regardless of PAAS's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, PAAS's net profit margin of 44.70% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • PAAS'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 52.36%, 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. Turning toward the future, the fact that the stock has come down in price over the past year should not necessarily be interpreted as a negative; it could be one of the factors that may help make the stock attractive down the road. Right now, however, we believe that it is too soon to buy.
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Pan American Silver Corp. explores, develops, and operates silver producing properties and assets. The company engages in silver mining and related activities, including exploration, mine development, extraction, processing, refining, and reclamation. The company has a P/E ratio of 6.1, equal to the average metals & mining industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Pan American has a market cap of $3.1 billion and is part of the basic materials sector and metals & mining industry. Shares are down 7.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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

Rating Change #7

Brookfield Office Properties Inc ( BPO) 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, good cash flow from operations and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including unimpressive growth in net income, disappointing return on equity and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 10.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 43.8%. 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.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 285.88% to $158.00 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, BROOKFIELD OFFICE PPTYS INC has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -134.20%.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is somewhat low, currently at 0.97, and is less than that of the industry average, implying that there has been a relatively successful effort in the management of debt levels. Even though the company has a strong debt-to-equity ratio, the quick ratio of 0.41 is very weak and demonstrates a lack of ability to pay short-term obligations.
  • The share price of BROOKFIELD OFFICE PPTYS INC has not done very well: it is down 10.15% 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. The fact that the stock is now selling for less than others in its industry in relation to its current earnings is not reason enough to justify a buy rating at this time.
  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed against the S&P 500 and did not exceed that of the Real Estate Management & Development industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 65.2% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $971.00 million to $338.00 million.
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Brookfield Properties Corporation is a publicly owned real estate investment firm. The firm engages in the ownership, development, and management of premier commercial properties. It also provides ancillary real estate service businesses, such as tenant service and amenities. The company has a P/E ratio of 5.9, equal to the average real estate industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Brookfield Office has a market cap of $8.55 billion and is part of the financial sector and real estate industry. Shares are up 8.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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

Rating Change #6

General Growth Properties Inc ( GGP) has been downgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its generally weak debt management and poor profit margins.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is very high at 2.04 and currently higher than the industry average, implying that there is very poor management of debt levels within the company.
  • The gross profit margin for GENERAL GROWTH PPTYS INC is rather low; currently it is at 21.10%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of -50.70% is significantly below 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 Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry and the overall market, GENERAL GROWTH PPTYS INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The company, on the basis of net income growth from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed compared to the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry average, but is greater than that of the S&P 500. The net income increased by 67.8% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$1,142.92 million to -$367.84 million.
  • GGP's revenue growth trails the industry average of 17.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 6.4%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
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General Growth Properties, Inc. operates as a real estate investment trust in the United States. It operates in two segments, Retail and Other, and Master Planned Communities. General Growth has a market cap of $15.6 billion and is part of the financial sector and real estate industry. Shares are up 17.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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

Rating Change #5

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

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Compared to where it was a year ago today, the stock is now trading at a higher level, reflecting both the market's overall trend during that period and the fact that the company's earnings growth has been robust. 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.
  • STREAM GLOBAL SERVICES 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 two years. We feel that this trend should continue. This trend suggests that the performance of the business is improving. During the past fiscal year, STREAM GLOBAL SERVICES INC continued to lose money by earning -$0.31 versus -$0.67 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.12 versus -$0.31).
  • 43.00% is the gross profit margin for STREAM GLOBAL SERVICES INC which we consider to be strong. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Despite the strong results of the gross profit margin, SGS's net profit margin of 1.90% significantly trails the industry average.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio of 1.22 is relatively high when compared with the industry average, suggesting a need for better debt level management. Regardless of the company's weak debt-to-equity ratio, SGS has managed to keep a strong quick ratio of 1.57, which demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $3.88 million or 49.39% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.
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Stream Global Services, Inc. operates as a global business process outsourcing service provider. The company offers customer relationship management services, including sales, customer care, and technical support. Stream Global Services has a market cap of $250.9 million and is part of the services sector and diversified services industry. Shares are down 3.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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

Rating Change #4

Tejon Ranch Corporation ( TRC) 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, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • TRC's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 10.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 82.1%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • TRC's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.00 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Along with this, the company maintains a quick ratio of 9.32, which clearly demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • TEJON RANCH CO 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 two years. During the past fiscal year, TEJON RANCH CO increased its bottom line by earning $0.80 versus $0.20 in the prior year.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Real Estate Management & Development industry. The net income increased by 539.1% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$1.19 million to $5.24 million.
  • The gross profit margin for TEJON RANCH CO is rather high; currently it is at 57.50%. It has increased significantly from the same period last year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 26.40% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
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Tejon Ranch Co., together with its subsidiaries, engages in the real estate development and agribusiness business activities in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 37.1, below the average real estate industry P/E ratio of 58.3 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Tejon Ranch has a market cap of $535.3 million and is part of the financial sector and real estate industry. Shares are up 17.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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

Rating Change #3

Benchmark Electronics ( BHE) has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to buy. 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 good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • BHE's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.01 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. To add to this, BHE has a quick ratio of 2.04, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 444.60% to $54.62 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, BENCHMARK ELECTRONICS INC has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -44.61%.
  • BENCHMARK ELECTRONICS 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 suffered a declining pattern of earnings per share over the past year. However, we anticipate this trend reversing over the coming year. During the past fiscal year, BENCHMARK ELECTRONICS INC reported lower earnings of $0.87 versus $1.28 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.10 versus $0.87).
  • BHE, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 6.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 10.8%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • The share price of BENCHMARK ELECTRONICS INC has not done very well: it is down 11.22% 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.
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Benchmark Electronics, Inc. provides electronics manufacturing services in the Americas, Asia, and Europe. The company has a P/E ratio of 17, below the average electronics industry P/E ratio of 17.6 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Benchmark has a market cap of $887.5 million and is part of the technology sector and electronics industry. Shares are up 13.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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

Rating Change #2

Gold Resource Corp ( GORO) 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, notable return on equity, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • GORO's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 10.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 640.5%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • GORO has no debt to speak of therefore resulting in a debt-to-equity ratio of zero, which we consider to be a relatively favorable sign. To add to this, GORO has a quick ratio of 2.34, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • The company's current return on equity greatly increased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of significant strength within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Metals & Mining industry and the overall market, GOLD RESOURCE CORP's return on equity significantly exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for GOLD RESOURCE CORP is currently very high, coming in at 85.20%. It has increased significantly from the same period last year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 107.20% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 337.98% to $18.18 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, GOLD RESOURCE CORP has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -49.01%.
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Gold Resource Corporation, an exploration stage company, engages in the exploration for and production of gold, silver, precious metals, and base metals, including copper, lead, and zinc primarily in Mexico. The company has a P/E ratio of 24.1, below the average metals & mining industry P/E ratio of 24.7 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Gold Resource has a market cap of $1.34 billion and is part of the basic materials sector and metals & mining industry. Shares are up 19.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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

Rating Change #1

Deutsche Bank AG ( DB) has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from sell to hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its attractive valuation levels, good cash flow from operations and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including unimpressive growth in net income, generally poor debt management and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • DEUTSCHE BANK AG 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, DEUTSCHE BANK AG increased its bottom line by earning $5.55 versus $4.25 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($7.31 versus $5.55).
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is very high at 5.18 and currently higher than the industry average, implying that there is very poor management of debt levels within the company.
  • 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 Capital Markets industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 99.9% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $740.73 million to $1.02 million.
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Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft provides investment, financial, and related products and services. The company has a P/E ratio of 8.2, above the average banking industry P/E ratio of 6.5 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Deutsche has a market cap of $38.44 billion and is part of the financial sector and banking industry. Shares are up 18.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

You can view the full Deutsche 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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