TheStreet Ratings Top 10 Rating Changes

NEW YORK ( TheStreet Ratings) -- Every trading day TheStreet Ratings' stock model reviews the investment ratings on around 4,600 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 50 U.S. common stocks for week ending December 7, 2012. 20 stocks were upgraded and 30 stocks were downgraded by our stock model.

Rating Change #10

Brunswick Corporation ( BC) 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, notable return on equity, good cash flow from operations and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

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Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 1.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 0.9%. 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.
  • 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 Leisure Equipment & Products industry and the overall market, BRUNSWICK CORP's return on equity significantly exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has improved to $61.50 million from having none in the same quarter last year. Since the company had no net operating cash flow for the prior period, we cannot calculate a percent change in order to compare its growth rate with that of its industry average.
  • Compared to its closing price of one year ago, BC's share price has jumped by 42.78%, exceeding the performance of the broader market during that same time frame. Looking ahead, the stock's sharp rise over the last year has already helped drive it to a level which is relatively expensive compared to the rest of its industry. We feel, however, that other strengths this company displays justify these higher price levels.
  • BRUNSWICK 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. 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, BRUNSWICK CORP turned its bottom line around by earning $0.77 versus -$1.25 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.73 versus $0.77).
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Brunswick Corporation designs, manufactures, and markets recreation products worldwide. The company has a P/E ratio of 24.8, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Brunswick has a market cap of $2.31 billion and is part of the consumer goods sector and consumer durables industry. Shares are up 42.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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

Rating Change #9

Patterson-UTI Energy Inc ( PTEN) 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, attractive valuation levels, good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

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Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • PTEN's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.23 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 1.49, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $286.88 million or 30.03% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of 16.14%.
  • 38.30% is the gross profit margin for PATTERSON-UTI ENERGY INC 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 7.89% trails the industry average.
  • PTEN, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 11.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 4.5%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
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Patterson-UTI Energy, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides onshore contract drilling services to oil and natural gas exploration and production companies in the United States and Canada. The company has a P/E ratio of 8.3, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Patterson-UTI Energy has a market cap of $2.65 billion and is part of the basic materials sector and energy industry. Shares are down 11% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

You can view the full Patterson-UTI Energy Ratings Report or get investment ideas from our investment research center.

Rating Change #8

Covance Inc ( CVD) 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, good cash flow from operations, growth in earnings per share and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

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Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • CVD's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 1.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 3.2%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • CVD's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.27 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 1.03, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $70.83 million or 35.62% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of 11.23%.
  • COVANCE INC's earnings per share improvement from the most recent quarter was slightly positive. 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, COVANCE INC increased its bottom line by earning $2.17 versus $1.05 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.68 versus $2.17).
  • Investors have apparently begun to recognize positive factors similar to those we have mentioned in this report, including earnings growth. This has helped drive up the company's shares by a sharp 27.32% over the past year, a rise that has exceeded that of the S&P 500 Index. We feel that the stock's sharp appreciation over the last year has driven it to a price level which is now somewhat expensive compared to the rest of its industry. The other strengths this company shows, however, justify the higher price levels.
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Covance Inc., a drug development services company, provides various early-stage and late-stage product development services primarily to the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device industries worldwide. The company has a P/E ratio of 40.7, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Covance has a market cap of $3.14 billion and is part of the health care sector and health services industry. Shares are up 25.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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

Rating Change #7

Martin Marietta Materials ( MLM) 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, increase in net income, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, solid stock price performance and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.

  • EXCLUSIVE OFFER: Jim Cramer's Protégé, Dave Peltier, only buys Stocks Under $10 that he thinks could potentially double. See what he's trading today with a 14-day FREE pass.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 34.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 18.2%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Construction Materials industry. The net income increased by 28.0% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $49.16 million to $62.92 million.
  • MLM's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.77 is somewhat low overall, but it is high when compared to the industry average, implying that the management of the debt levels should be evaluated further. Despite the fact that MLM's debt-to-equity ratio is mixed in its results, the company's quick ratio of 1.53 is high and demonstrates strong liquidity.
  • 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. Although other factors naturally played a role, the company's strong earnings growth was key. 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.
  • MARTIN MARIETTA MATERIALS has improved earnings per share by 27.1% in the most recent quarter compared to 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, MARTIN MARIETTA MATERIALS reported lower earnings of $1.74 versus $2.09 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.35 versus $1.74).
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Martin Marietta Materials, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, engages in the production and sale of aggregates for the construction industry primarily in the United States, Canada, the Bahamas, and the Caribbean Islands. The company has a P/E ratio of 58.1, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Martin Marietta has a market cap of $4.13 billion and is part of the industrial goods sector and materials & construction industry. Shares are up 19.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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

Rating Change #6

Buckeye Partners LP ( BPL) has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its compelling growth in net income, good cash flow from operations, impressive record of earnings per share growth and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

  • EXCLUSIVE OFFER: Jim Cramer's Protégé, Dave Peltier, only buys Stocks Under $10 that he thinks could potentially double. See what he's trading today with a 14-day FREE pass.

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 177.6% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$109.70 million to $85.12 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 130.50% to $0.85 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, BUCKEYE PARTNERS LP has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -15.43%.
  • BUCKEYE PARTNERS LP reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to 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, BUCKEYE PARTNERS LP reported lower earnings of $1.25 versus $1.93 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.77 versus $1.25).
  • BPL, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 7.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 13.5%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.
  • Current return on equity exceeded its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of strength within the company. In comparison to the other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, BUCKEYE PARTNERS LP's return on equity is significantly below that of the industry average and is below that of the S&P 500.
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Buckeye Partners, L.P. owns and operates refined petroleum products pipeline systems in the United States. Its Pipelines and Terminals segment transports refined petroleum products and provides bulk storage and terminal throughput services in the continental United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 19.1, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Buckeye Partners L.P has a market cap of $4.54 billion and is part of the basic materials sector and energy industry. Shares are down 22.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

You can view the full Buckeye Partners L.P Ratings Report or get investment ideas from our investment research center.

Rating Change #5

Ashland Inc ( ASH) 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, good cash flow from operations and solid stock price performance. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including disappointing return on equity and poor profit margins.

  • EXCLUSIVE OFFER: Jim Cramer's Protégé, Dave Peltier, only buys Stocks Under $10 that he thinks could potentially double. See what he's trading today with a 14-day FREE pass.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 2.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 11.4%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 51.00% to $225.00 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, ASHLAND INC has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 0.59%.
  • Investors have apparently begun to recognize positive factors similar to those we have mentioned in this report, including earnings growth. This has helped drive up the company's shares by a sharp 26.81% over the past year, a rise that has exceeded that of the S&P 500 Index. Setting our sights on the months ahead, however, we feel that the stock's sharp appreciation over the last year has driven it to a price level which is now relatively expensive compared to the rest of its industry. The implication is that its reduced upside potential is not good enough to warrant further investment at this time.
  • The gross profit margin for ASHLAND INC is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 27.60%. Regardless of ASH's low profit margin, it has managed to increase from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, ASH's net profit margin of -13.32% significantly underperformed when compared to 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. Compared to other companies in the Chemicals industry and the overall market, ASHLAND INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
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Ashland Inc. operates as a specialty chemicals company in the United States and internationally. It operates through four segments: Specialty Ingredients, Water Technologies, Performance Materials, and Consumer Markets. The company has a P/E ratio of 147.8, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Ashland has a market cap of $5.59 billion and is part of the basic materials sector and chemicals industry. Shares are up 23.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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

Rating Change #4

CGI Group Inc ( GIB) 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 solid stock price performance. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including feeble growth in the company's earnings per share, deteriorating net income and disappointing return on equity.

  • EXCLUSIVE OFFER: Jim Cramer's Protégé, Dave Peltier, only buys Stocks Under $10 that he thinks could potentially double. See what he's trading today with a 14-day FREE pass.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • GIB's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 10.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 56.0%. 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. We feel that the combination of its price rise over the last year and its current price-to-earnings ratio relative to its industry tend to reduce its upside potential.
  • GIB's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.95 is somewhat low overall, but it is high when compared to the industry average, implying that the management of the debt levels should be evaluated further. Despite the fact that GIB's debt-to-equity ratio is mixed in its results, the company's quick ratio of 0.58 is low and demonstrates weak liquidity.
  • CGI GROUP 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. During the past fiscal year, CGI GROUP INC reported lower earnings of $0.55 versus $1.57 in the prior year.
  • 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 IT Services industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 329.8% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $73.09 million to -$167.97 million.
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CGI Group Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides information technology (IT) and business process services in Canada, the United States, India, Europe, and the Asia Pacific. The company has a P/E ratio of 47.2, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. CGI Group has a market cap of $6.33 billion and is part of the technology sector and internet industry. Shares are up 22.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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

Rating Change #3

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

  • EXCLUSIVE OFFER: Jim Cramer's Protégé, Dave Peltier, only buys Stocks Under $10 that he thinks could potentially double. See what he's trading today with a 14-day FREE pass.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Despite currently having a low debt-to-equity ratio of 0.53, 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 STJ's debt-to-equity ratio is mixed in its results, the company's quick ratio of 1.58 is high and demonstrates strong liquidity.
  • The gross profit margin for ST JUDE MEDICAL INC is currently very high, coming in at 79.10%. Regardless of STJ'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 13.27% trails the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has declined marginally to $350.00 million or 2.05% when compared to the same quarter last year. In conjunction, when comparing current results to the industry average, ST JUDE MEDICAL INC has marginally lower results.
  • 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 Health Care Equipment & Supplies industry average. The net income has decreased by 22.3% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, dropping from $226.47 million to $176.00 million.
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St. Jude Medical, Inc. develops, manufactures, and distributes cardiovascular and implantable neurostimulation medical devices worldwide. It operates in four segments: Cardiac Rhythm Management, Cardiovascular, Atrial Fibrillation, and Neuromodulation. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.1, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. St Jude Medical has a market cap of $10.36 billion and is part of the health care sector and health services industry. Shares are down 2% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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

Rating Change #2

America Movil S.A.B. De C.V. ( AMX) 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, notable return on equity and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including generally higher debt management risk and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself.

  • EXCLUSIVE OFFER: Jim Cramer's Protégé, Dave Peltier, only buys Stocks Under $10 that he thinks could potentially double. See what he's trading today with a 14-day FREE pass.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • AMX's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 4.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 99.4%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • 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 Wireless Telecommunication Services industry and the overall market, AMERICA MOVIL SA DE CV's return on equity significantly exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • AMERICA MOVIL SA DE CV reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to 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, AMERICA MOVIL SA DE CV reported lower earnings of $1.51 versus $1.90 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.03 versus $1.51).
  • In its most recent trading session, AMX 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. 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 debt-to-equity ratio of 1.36 is relatively high when compared with the industry average, suggesting a need for better debt level management. To add to this, AMX has a quick ratio of 0.66, this demonstrates the lack of ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
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America Movil, S.A.B. de C.V. provides telecommunications services primarily in the United States, Latin America, and the Caribbean. The company offers mobile and fixed voice services, including airtime, local, long-distance, public telephony, and network interconnection services. The company has a P/E ratio of 13, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. America Movil S.A.B. de C.V has a market cap of $89.22 billion and is part of the technology sector and telecommunications industry. Shares are up 3.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

You can view the full America Movil S.A.B. de C.V Ratings Report or get investment ideas from our investment research center.

Rating Change #1

Occidental Petroleum Corporation ( OXY) 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 expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, weak operating cash flow and disappointing return on equity.

  • EXCLUSIVE OFFER: Jim Cramer's Protégé, Dave Peltier, only buys Stocks Under $10 that he thinks could potentially double. See what he's trading today with a 14-day FREE pass.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • OXY's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.19 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 1.16, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • The gross profit margin for OCCIDENTAL PETROLEUM CORP is rather high; currently it is at 55.40%. Regardless of OXY's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, OXY's net profit margin of 23.05% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • Regardless of the drop in revenue, the company managed to outperform against the industry average of 7.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 0.7%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $2,541.00 million or 17.33% when compared to the same quarter last year. In conjunction, when comparing current results to the industry average, OCCIDENTAL PETROLEUM CORP has marginally lower results.
  • 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 the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry average. The net income has decreased by 22.4% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, dropping from $1,771.00 million to $1,375.00 million.
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Occidental Petroleum Corporation engages in the exploration and production of oil and gas properties in the United States and internationally. The company operates in three segments: Oil and Gas; Chemical; and Midstream, Marketing, and Other. The company has a P/E ratio of 10.2, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Occidental has a market cap of $60.35 billion and is part of the basic materials sector and energy industry. Shares are down 20.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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

-- Reported by Kevin Baker in Palm Beach Gardens, 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.

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

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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