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 34 U.S. common stocks for week ending September 21, 2012. 23 stocks were upgraded and 11 stocks were downgraded by our stock model.

Rating Change #10

L.S. Starrett Company ( SCX) 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, good cash flow from operations and increase in stock price during the past year. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and poor profit margins.

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Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • SCX's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.24 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. To add to this, SCX has a quick ratio of 2.20, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • Net operating cash flow has slightly increased to $7.33 million or 4.31% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of -36.67%.
  • SCX, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 10.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 1.7%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • 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 Machinery industry and the overall market, STARRETT (L.S.) CO's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for STARRETT (L.S.) CO is rather low; currently it is at 22.20%. It has decreased significantly from the same period last year. Along with this, the net profit margin of -6.60% is significantly below that of the industry average.

The L.S. Starrett Company engages in the manufacture and sale of industrial, professional, and consumer measuring and cutting tools and related products primarily in North America, Brazil, and the United Kingdom. The company has a P/E ratio of 99, above the average industrial industry P/E ratio of 10.2 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. L.S. Starrett has a market cap of $77.4 million and is part of the industrial goods sector and industrial industry. Shares are down 0.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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

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