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 55 U.S. common stocks for week ending March 8, 2013. 32 stocks were upgraded and 23 stocks were downgraded by our stock model.

Rating Change #10

BioScrip Inc ( BIOS) has been downgraded by TheStreet Ratings from buy to hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, revenue growth and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the growth in the company's net income has been quite unimpressive.

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Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Compared to its price level of one year ago, BIOS is up 68.21% to its most recent closing price of 10.85. Looking ahead, our view is that this company's fundamentals should not have much impact in either direction, allowing the stock to generally move up or down based on the push and pull of the broad market.
  • BIOS's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 17.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 27.3%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displaying stagnant earnings per share.
  • BIOS's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.80 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 BIOS's debt-to-equity ratio is mixed in its results, the company's quick ratio of 1.60 is high and demonstrates strong liquidity.
  • 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 Health Care Providers & Services industry and the overall market, BIOSCRIP INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • 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 Health Care Providers & Services industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 2205.1% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $0.55 million to -$11.54 million.
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BioScrip Inc. provides pharmacy and home health services in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 136.4, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. BioScrip has a market cap of $620.7 million and is part of the services sector and retail industry. Shares are up 0.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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

Rating Change #9

Cloud Peak Energy Inc ( CLD) has been downgraded by TheStreet Ratings from buy to hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its attractive valuation levels and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. 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 poor profit margins.

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Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • CLD, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 3.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 6.9%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • The gross profit margin for CLOUD PEAK ENERGY INC is rather low; currently it is at 24.90%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 7.51% trails that of the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $45.40 million or 46.14% 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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Cloud Peak Energy Inc., through its subsidiaries, engages in the coal mining operations in the Powder River Basin (PRB) and the United States. It produces and sells sub-bituminous thermal coal with low sulfur content primarily to electric utilities. The company has a P/E ratio of 5.9, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Cloud Peak Energy has a market cap of $1.02 billion and is part of the basic materials sector and metals & mining industry. Shares are down 13.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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

Rating Change #8

CenturyLink Inc ( CTL) has been downgraded by TheStreet Ratings from buy to hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its compelling growth in net income, reasonable valuation levels 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.

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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 Diversified Telecommunication Services industry. The net income increased by 117.8% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $107.00 million to $233.00 million.
  • CENTURYLINK INC 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, CENTURYLINK INC reported lower earnings of $1.24 versus $1.29 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.65 versus $1.24).
  • CTL has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 10.76% from its price level of one year ago. 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 1.07 is relatively high when compared with the industry average, suggesting a need for better debt level management. Along with this, the company manages to maintain a quick ratio of 0.47, which clearly demonstrates the inability to cover short-term cash needs.
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CenturyLink, Inc. operates as an integrated telecommunications company in the United States. The company provides local and long-distance, network access, private line, public access, broadband, data, managed hosting, colocation, wireless, and video services to consumers and businesses. The company has a P/E ratio of 23.4, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. CenturyLink has a market cap of $22.28 billion and is part of the technology sector and telecommunications industry. Shares are down 11.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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

Rating Change #7

Full Circle Capital Corp ( FULL) has been downgraded by TheStreet Ratings from buy to hold. The company's strongest point has been its very decent return on equity which we feel should persist. At the same time, however, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, poor profit margins and weak operating cash flow.

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Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue fell significantly faster than the industry average of 9.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 22.4%. The declining revenue appears to have seeped down to the company's bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • FULL CIRCLE CAPITAL 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, FULL CIRCLE CAPITAL CORP reported lower earnings of $0.44 versus $0.46 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.81 versus $0.44).
  • In its most recent trading session, FULL 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. 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.
  • The gross profit margin for FULL CIRCLE CAPITAL CORP is currently extremely low, coming in at 1.30%. It has decreased significantly from the same period last year. Along with this, the net profit margin of -35.51% is significantly below that of the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$1.80 million or 146.56% 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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Full Circle Capital Corporation is a business development company and operates as an externally managed non-diversified closed-end management investment company. The company has a P/E ratio of 38.1, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Full Circle Capital Corp BDC has a market cap of $57.8 million and is part of the financial sector and financial services industry. Shares are up 1.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

You can view the full Full Circle Capital Corp BDC Ratings Report or get investment ideas from our investment research center.

Rating Change #6

Red Lion Hotels Corporation ( RLH) has been downgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its disappointing return on equity and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

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Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • 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 Hotels, Restaurants & Leisure industry and the overall market, RED LION HOTELS CORP's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • RLH has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 6.80% from its price level of one year ago. 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.
  • RLH, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 2.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 3.2%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.
  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.52, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels. Even though the company has a strong debt-to-equity ratio, the quick ratio of 0.28 is very weak and demonstrates a lack of ability to pay short-term obligations.
  • RED LION HOTELS CORP 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, RED LION HOTELS CORP reported poor results of -$0.54 versus -$0.30 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings (-$0.15 versus -$0.54).
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Red Lion Hotels Corporation, a hospitality and leisure company, engages in the ownership, operation, and franchising of midscale, full, select, and limited service hotels under the Red Lion brand. Red Lion Hotels has a market cap of $133.5 million and is part of the services sector and leisure industry. Shares are down 11.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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

Rating Change #5

Big Lots Inc ( BIG) 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, attractive valuation levels, good cash flow from operations, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

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Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 8.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 5.0%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • Net operating cash flow has slightly increased to $317.04 million or 6.06% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of -18.43%.
  • BIG'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. Even though the company has a strong debt-to-equity ratio, the quick ratio of 0.10 is very weak and demonstrates a lack of ability to pay short-term obligations.
  • BIG LOTS INC has improved earnings per share by 19.4% 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, BIG LOTS INC reported lower earnings of $2.98 versus $3.01 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($3.19 versus $2.98).
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Big Lots, Inc., through its subsidiaries, operates as a broadline closeout retailer in the United States and Canada. The company has a P/E ratio of 13, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Big Lots has a market cap of $1.96 billion and is part of the services sector and retail industry. Shares are up 19.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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

Rating Change #4

Greenhill & Co Inc ( GHL) has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its 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.

  • 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 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 Capital Markets industry and the overall market, GREENHILL & CO INC's return on equity exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 166.17% to $58.52 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, GREENHILL & CO INC has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -72.71%.
  • Compared to its closing price of one year ago, GHL's share price has jumped by 39.43%, exceeding the performance of the broader market during that same time frame. 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.
  • GREENHILL & CO INC's earnings per share declined by 5.7% in the most recent quarter compared to 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, GREENHILL & CO INC reported lower earnings of $1.38 versus $1.45 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.43 versus $1.38).
  • GHL, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 9.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 2.3%. The declining revenue appears to have seeped down to the company's bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
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Greenhill & Co., Inc., an independent investment bank, provides financial advice on mergers, acquisitions, restructurings, financings, and capital raising to corporations, partnerships, institutions, and governments worldwide. The company has a P/E ratio of 42.8, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Greenhill has a market cap of $1.63 billion and is part of the financial sector and financial services industry. Shares are up 15.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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

Rating Change #3

Lincoln Educational Services Corporation ( LINC) has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from sell 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, disappointing return on equity and 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:
  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.37, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels.
  • Regardless of the drop in revenue, the company managed to outperform against the industry average of 13.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 11.3%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • The gross profit margin for LINCOLN EDUCATIONAL SERVICES is rather high; currently it is at 60.50%. Regardless of LINC's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, LINC's net profit margin of -11.65% significantly underperformed when compared to the industry average.
  • 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 Diversified Consumer Services industry and the overall market, LINCOLN EDUCATIONAL SERVICES's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • 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 Diversified Consumer Services industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 293.2% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $6.18 million to -$11.94 million.
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Lincoln Educational Services Corporation provides post-secondary education services in the United States. Lincoln Educational Services has a market cap of $138.5 million and is part of the services sector and diversified services industry. Shares are up 8.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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

Rating Change #2

Vail Resorts Inc ( MTN) 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, good cash flow from operations, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low 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 2.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 13.2%. 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 Hotels, Restaurants & Leisure industry. The net income increased by 30.5% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $46.39 million to $60.55 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $136.70 million or 38.00% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of -8.35%.
  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 29.92% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 36.12% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. 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.
  • VAIL RESORTS INC has improved earnings per share by 29.9% 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, VAIL RESORTS INC reported lower earnings of $0.40 versus $0.87 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.23 versus $0.40).
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Vail Resorts, Inc., through its subsidiaries, engages in the operation of resorts in the United States. The company operates in three segments: Mountain, Lodging, and Real Estate. The company has a P/E ratio of 79.9, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Vail has a market cap of $2.03 billion and is part of the services sector and leisure industry. Shares are up 12.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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

Rating Change #1

Nordion Inc ( NDZ) has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from sell to hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in net income, revenue 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 disappointing return on equity 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:
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Life Sciences Tools & Services industry. The net income increased by 69.7% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$0.89 million to -$0.27 million.
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 8.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 1.2%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • The gross profit margin for NORDION INC is rather high; currently it is at 51.80%. Regardless of NDZ's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, NDZ's net profit margin of -0.50% significantly underperformed when compared to the industry average.
  • NDZ'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 34.32%, 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.
  • 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 Life Sciences Tools & Services industry and the overall market, NORDION INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
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Nordion Inc. provides products and services for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases worldwide. The company's Targeted Therapies segment offers TheraSphere, a therapeutic medical device used in the treatment of inoperable primary and metastatic liver cancer. Nordion has a market cap of $409.2 million and is part of the health care sector and health services industry. Shares are up 4.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

You can view the full Nordion 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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