TheStreet Ratings Top 10 Rating Changes

NEW YORK ( TheStreet Ratings) -- Every trading day TheStreet Ratings' stock model reviews the investment ratings on around 4,300 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 69 U.S. common stocks for week ending February 22, 2013. 50 stocks were upgraded and 19 stocks were downgraded by our stock model.

Rating Change #10

PS Business Parks Inc ( PSB) 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, reasonable valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. 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:
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 14.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 13.8%. 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 remained constant at $51.00 million with no significant change when compared to the same quarter last year. Even though PS BUSINESS PARKS's cash flow growth was minimal, the firm managed to surpass its industry's average growth rate of -52.76%.
  • 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 Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, PS BUSINESS PARKS underperformed against that of the industry average and is significantly less than that of the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for PS BUSINESS PARKS is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 33.00%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 25.38% trails that of the industry average.
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PS Business Parks, Inc., a real estate investment trust (REIT), together with its subsidiaries, engages in the acquisition, development, ownership, and operation of commercial properties primarily multi-tenant flex, office, and industrial space. The company has a P/E ratio of 94.9, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. PS Business Parks has a market cap of $1.77 billion and is part of the financial sector and real estate industry. Shares are up 12.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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

Rating Change #9

Gold Fields Ltd ( GFI) 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, reasonable valuation levels 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.

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Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.30, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels.
  • 35.50% is the gross profit margin for GOLD FIELDS LTD which we consider to be strong. Despite the high profit margin, it has decreased significantly from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 5.67% trails the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has declined marginally to $395.20 million or 0.77% 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.
  • 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 Metals & Mining industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 83.9% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $336.20 million to $54.20 million.
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Gold Fields Limited engages in the acquisition, exploration, development, and production of gold properties. It holds interests in eight operating mines in South Africa, Peru, Ghana, and Australia. The company has a P/E ratio of 8.9, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Gold Fields has a market cap of $7.89 billion and is part of the basic materials sector and metals & mining industry. Shares are down 13.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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

Rating Change #8

Helix Energy Solutions Group Inc ( HLX) 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 solid stock price performance. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, 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 fell significantly faster than the industry average of 6.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 49.1%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • HLX's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.72 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.
  • Compared to its closing price of one year ago, HLX's share price has jumped by 27.48%, exceeding the performance of the broader market during that same time frame. Looking ahead, however, we cannot assume that the stock's past performance is going to drive future results. Quite to the contrary, its sharp appreciation over the last year is one of the factors that should prompt investors to seek better opportunities elsewhere.
  • Current return on equity is lower than its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of weakness within the company. Compared to other companies in the Energy Equipment & Services industry and the overall market, HELIX ENERGY SOLUTIONS GROUP's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for HELIX ENERGY SOLUTIONS GROUP is rather low; currently it is at 24.30%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of -85.05% is significantly below that of the industry average.
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Helix Energy Solutions Group, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates as an offshore energy company. It provides reservoir development solutions and other contracting services to the energy market, as well as to its oil and gas properties. The company has a P/E ratio of 18.4, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Helix Energy Solutions Group has a market cap of $2.6 billion and is part of the basic materials sector and energy industry. Shares are up 19.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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

Rating Change #7

Newfield Exploration Company ( NFX) 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, generally high debt management risk, disappointing return on equity, weak operating cash flow and generally disappointing historical 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 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 Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 2161.8% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $68.00 million to -$1,402.00 million.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio of 1.10 is relatively high when compared with the industry average, suggesting a need for better debt level management.
  • 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 Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, NEWFIELD EXPLORATION CO's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $343.00 million or 17.54% 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.
  • Despite any intermediate fluctuations, we have only bad news to report on this stock's performance over the last year: it has tumbled by 41.08%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 2137.25% compared to the year-earlier quarter. Naturally, the overall market trend is bound to be a significant factor. However, in one sense, the stock's sharp decline last year is a positive for future investors, making it cheaper (in proportion to its earnings over the past year) than most other stocks in its industry. But due to other concerns, we feel the stock is still not a good buy right now.
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Newfield Exploration Company, an independent energy company, engaged in the exploration, development, and production of crude oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids. It has operations in the Mid-Continent, the Rocky Mountains, and onshore Texas, as well as in Malaysia and China. The company has a P/E ratio of 12.9, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Newfield has a market cap of $3.69 billion and is part of the basic materials sector and energy industry. Shares are up 1.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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

Rating Change #6

Denny's Corporation ( DENN) has been downgraded by TheStreet Ratings from buy to hold. Among the primary strengths of the company is its solid stock price performance. At the same time, however, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, poor profit margins and feeble growth in the company's earnings per share.

  • 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:
  • Compared to its closing price of one year ago, DENN's share price has jumped by 31.42%, exceeding the performance of the broader market during that same time frame. Regarding the stock's future course, our hold rating indicates that we do not recommend additional investment in this stock despite its gains in the past year.
  • DENN, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 2.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 10.9%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • DENNYS 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 year. However, the consensus estimate suggests that this trend should reverse in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, DENNYS CORP reported lower earnings of $0.24 versus $1.14 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.33 versus $0.24).
  • The gross profit margin for DENNYS CORP is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 28.80%. Regardless of DENN's low profit margin, it has managed to increase from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, DENN's net profit margin of 5.58% is significantly lower than the industry average.
  • 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 Hotels, Restaurants & Leisure industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 93.0% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $92.05 million to $6.48 million.
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Denny's Corporation, through its subsidiaries, engages in the ownership and operation of a chain of family-style restaurants. The company operates traditional American-style food restaurants under the Denny's brand name. The company has a P/E ratio of 24.4, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Denny's has a market cap of $526.8 million and is part of the services sector and leisure industry. Shares are up 15.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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

Rating Change #5

Beasley Broadcast Group Inc ( BBGI) 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, growth in earnings per share, revenue growth, attractive valuation levels and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

  • 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:
  • 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 52.53% over the past year, a rise that has exceeded that of the S&P 500 Index. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, BBGI should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
  • BEASLEY BROADCAST GROUP INC has improved earnings per share by 6.7% 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, BEASLEY BROADCAST GROUP INC increased its bottom line by earning $0.49 versus $0.44 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.56 versus $0.49).
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 9.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 9.1%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • 39.30% is the gross profit margin for BEASLEY BROADCAST GROUP INC which we consider to be strong. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 13.13% is above that of the industry average.
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Beasley Broadcast Group, Inc., a radio broadcasting company, engages in the operation of radio stations in the United States. It sells commercial advertising airtime to local and national advertisers. The company has a P/E ratio of 10.5, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Beasley Broadcast Group has a market cap of $31 million and is part of the services sector and media industry. Shares are up 3.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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

Rating Change #4

Hollysys Automation Technologies Ltd. ( HOLI) 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, notable return on equity, solid stock price performance and impressive record of earnings per share growth. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook.

  • 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:
  • HOLI's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 7.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 1.0%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • HOLI's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.09 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. To add to this, HOLI has a quick ratio of 2.01, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • 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 Electronic Equipment, Instruments & Components industry and the overall market, HOLLYSYS AUTOMATION TECH LTD's return on equity exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • 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 40.98% over the past year, a rise that has exceeded that of the S&P 500 Index. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, HOLI should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
  • HOLLYSYS AUTOMATION TECH LTD has improved earnings per share by 17.4% 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, HOLLYSYS AUTOMATION TECH LTD increased its bottom line by earning $1.01 versus $0.75 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.11 versus $1.01).
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Hollysys Automation Technologies Ltd. provides automation and control technologies and applications to customers in the industrial, railway, subway, and nuclear industries in the People's Republic China, south-east Asia, and the Middle East. The company has a P/E ratio of 12.2, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Hollysys Automation has a market cap of $735.3 million and is part of the industrial goods sector and industrial industry. Shares are up 10.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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

Rating Change #3

Sony Corporation ( SNE) has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from sell to hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its good cash flow from operations, impressive record of earnings per share growth and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including poor profit margins 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:
  • Net operating cash flow has slightly increased to $1,908.86 million or 9.17% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, SONY CORP has also modestly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 8.99%.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is somewhat low, currently at 0.69, and is less than that of the industry average, implying that there has been a relatively successful effort in the management of debt levels. Despite the fact that SNE's debt-to-equity ratio is low, the quick ratio, which is currently 0.54, displays a potential problem in covering short-term cash needs.
  • SNE'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 28.89%, 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. Naturally, the overall market trend is bound to be a significant factor. However, in one sense, the stock's sharp decline last year is a positive for future investors, making it cheaper (in proportion to its earnings over the past year) than most other stocks in its industry. But due to other concerns, we feel the stock is still not a good buy right now.
  • The gross profit margin for SONY CORP is currently extremely low, coming in at 4.00%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of -0.39% trails that of the industry average.
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Sony Corporation designs, develops, manufactures, and sells electronic equipment, instruments, and devices for consumer, professional, and industrial markets worldwide. The company has a P/E ratio of 4.1, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Sony has a market cap of $14.39 billion and is part of the consumer goods sector and consumer durables industry. Shares are up 28% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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

Rating Change #2

Tesla Motors Inc ( TSLA) has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from sell to hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth and increase in stock price during the past year. 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:
  • TSLA's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 21.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 678.0%. 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.
  • Compared to where it was a year ago today, the stock is now trading at a higher level, regardless of the company's weak earnings results. 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.
  • TESLA MOTORS INC' earnings per share from the most recent quarter came in slightly below the year earlier quarter. 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, TESLA MOTORS INC reported poor results of -$3.70 versus -$2.52 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.18 versus -$3.70).
  • 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 Automobiles industry and the overall market, TESLA MOTORS INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for TESLA MOTORS INC is currently extremely low, coming in at 12.00%. It has decreased significantly from the same period last year. Along with this, the net profit margin of -29.35% is significantly below that of the industry average.
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Tesla Motors, Inc. designs, develops, manufactures, and sells electric vehicles and electric vehicle powertrain components. The company offers Tesla Roadster, an electric sports car. Tesla has a market cap of $4.47 billion and is part of the consumer goods sector and automotive industry. Shares are up 16% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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

Rating Change #1

USA Mobility Inc ( USMO) 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, expanding profit margins and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

  • 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:
  • USMO 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, USMO has a quick ratio of 1.63, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • The gross profit margin for USA MOBILITY INC is rather high; currently it is at 65.80%. Regardless of USMO's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, USMO's net profit margin of 14.60% compares favorably to the industry average.
  • USA MOBILITY INC's earnings per share declined by 21.7% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has not demonstrated a clear trend in earnings over the past two years, making it difficult to accurately predict earnings for the coming year. During the past fiscal year, USA MOBILITY INC increased its bottom line by earning $3.94 versus $3.48 in the prior year.
  • USMO, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 0.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 12.5%. The declining revenue appears to have seeped down to the company's bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
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USA Mobility, Inc. provides wireless messaging, mobile voice, and data and unified communications solutions to the healthcare, government, and enterprise sectors in the United States. The company provides one-way and two-way messaging services. The company has a P/E ratio of 5.9, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. USA Mobility has a market cap of $253.6 million and is part of the technology sector and telecommunications industry. Shares are down 1% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

You can view the full USA Mobility 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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