TheStreet Ratings Top 10 Rating Changes

Tickers in this article: DECK FE HES IGT LII SKT STI SWY WHR X

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 84 U.S. common stocks for week ending April 27, 2012. 48 stocks were upgraded and 36 stocks were downgraded by our stock model.

Rating Change #10

Deckers Outdoor Corporation 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, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and reasonable valuation levels. 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:
  • DECK's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 15.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 20.2%. 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.
  • DECK 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. Along with this, the company maintains a quick ratio of 3.54, which clearly demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • DECKERS OUTDOOR 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, DECKERS OUTDOOR CORP increased its bottom line by earning $5.07 versus $4.03 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($5.14 versus $5.07).
  • 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 Textiles, Apparel & Luxury Goods industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, DECKERS OUTDOOR CORP has underperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has exceeded that of 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 Textiles, Apparel & Luxury Goods industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 58.9% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $19.18 million to $7.89 million.
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Deckers Outdoor Corporation engages in the design, manufacture, and marketing of footwear and accessories for outdoor activities and casual lifestyle use for men, women, and children. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.3, equal to the average consumer non-durables industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Deckers Outdoor has a market cap of $2.6 billion and is part of the consumer goods sector and consumer non-durables industry. Shares are down 10.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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

Rating Change #9

Lennox International Inc 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, growth in earnings per share and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including poor profit margins and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 3.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 2.2%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • LENNOX INTERNATIONAL 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, LENNOX INTERNATIONAL INC reported lower earnings of $1.73 versus $2.11 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.50 versus $1.73).
  • LII has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 20.04% 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 gross profit margin for LENNOX INTERNATIONAL INC is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 26.40%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year.
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Lennox International Inc., through its subsidiaries, engages in the design, manufacture, and market of climate control products for the heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration markets in the United States, Canada, and internationally. The company has a P/E ratio of 24.6, below the average consumer durables industry P/E ratio of 25.8 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Lennox International has a market cap of $2.17 billion and is part of the consumer goods sector and consumer durables industry. Shares are up 25.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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

Rating Change #8

Tanger Factory Outlet Centers 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 and solid stock price performance. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including unimpressive growth in net income, generally poor debt management and poor profit margins.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • SKT's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 16.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 17.1%. 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.
  • TANGER FACTORY OUTLET CTRS's earnings per share declined by 18.2% 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, TANGER FACTORY OUTLET CTRS increased its bottom line by earning $0.51 versus $0.32 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.56 versus $0.51).
  • 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.
  • 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 Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry average. The net income has decreased by 13.5% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, dropping from $9.40 million to $8.13 million.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is very high at 2.15 and currently higher than the industry average, implying that there is very poor management of debt levels within the company.
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Tanger Factory Outlet Centers, Inc. operates as a real estate investment trust (REIT). The company, through its subsidiary, Tanger Properties Limited Partnership, engages in acquiring, developing, owning, operating, and managing factory outlet shopping centers. The company has a P/E ratio of 58.5, equal to the average real estate industry P/E ratio and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Tanger Factory Outlet Centers has a market cap of $2.79 billion and is part of the financial sector and real estate industry. Shares are up 5.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

You can view the full Tanger Factory Outlet Centers Ratings Report or get investment ideas from our investment research center.

Rating Change #7

Whirlpool Corporation 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 disappointing return on equity, weak operating cash flow and poor profit margins.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.57, 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 0.42 is very weak and demonstrates a lack of ability to pay short-term obligations.
  • Despite the weak revenue results, WHR has significantly outperformed against the industry average of 41.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 1.2%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$423.00 million or 88.83% when compared to the same quarter last year. In conjunction, when comparing current results to the industry average, WHIRLPOOL CORP has marginally lower results.
  • 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. In comparison to the other companies in the Household Durables industry and the overall market, WHIRLPOOL CORP'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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Whirlpool Corporation engages in the manufacture and marketing of home appliances worldwide. Its principal products include laundry appliances, refrigerators and freezers, cooking appliances, dishwashers, mixers, and other portable household appliances. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.8, equal to the average consumer durables industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Whirlpool has a market cap of $5.3 billion and is part of the consumer goods sector and consumer durables industry. Shares are up 45.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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

Rating Change #6

Safeway Inc has been downgraded by TheStreet Ratings from buy to hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in net income, revenue growth and notable return on equity. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including generally poor debt management, poor profit margins and weak operating cash flow.

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 Food & Staples Retailing industry. The net income increased by 190.4% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $25.10 million to $72.90 million.
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 6.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 2.4%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • SAFEWAY 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, SAFEWAY INC reported lower earnings of $1.53 versus $1.57 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.97 versus $1.53).
  • The gross profit margin for SAFEWAY INC is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 29.50%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 0.70% trails that of the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$541.80 million or 803.00% 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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Safeway Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates as a food and drug retailer in North America. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.5, equal to the average retail industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Safeway has a market cap of $5.56 billion and is part of the services sector and retail industry. Shares are down 0.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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

Rating Change #5

United States Steel Corporation has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from sell to hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations and notable return on equity. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including unimpressive growth in net income, generally poor debt management and poor profit margins.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 10.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 6.3%. 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 2405.88% to $426.00 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, UNITED STATES STEEL CORP has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -50.22%.
  • UNITED STATES STEEL 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, UNITED STATES STEEL CORP continued to lose money by earning -$0.59 versus -$3.36 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.31 versus -$0.59).
  • 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 154.7% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from -$86.00 million to -$219.00 million.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio of 1.19 is relatively high when compared with the industry average, suggesting a need for better debt level management. Along with the unfavorable debt-to-equity ratio, X maintains a poor quick ratio of 0.87, which illustrates the inability to avoid short-term cash problems.
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United States Steel Corporation engages in the production and sale of steel mill products in North America and Europe. The company operates in three segments: Flat-rolled Products (Flat-rolled), U. S. Steel Europe (USSE), and Tubular Products (Tubular). United States has a market cap of $4.06 billion and is part of the basic materials sector and metals & mining industry. Shares are up 4.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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

Rating Change #4

International Game Technology 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, reasonable valuation levels and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

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 Hotels, Restaurants & Leisure industry and the overall market, INTL GAME TECHNOLOGY's return on equity exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • INTL GAME TECHNOLOGY's earnings per share declined by 32.0% 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, INTL GAME TECHNOLOGY increased its bottom line by earning $0.97 versus $0.74 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.99 versus $0.97).
  • The gross profit margin for INTL GAME TECHNOLOGY is rather high; currently it is at 65.30%. Regardless of IGT'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 11.10% trails the industry average.
  • IGT, 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 1.3%. The declining revenue appears to have seeped down to the company's bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
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International Game Technology engages in the design, development, manufacture, and marketing of electronic gaming equipment and systems worldwide. The company has a P/E ratio of 18.8, below the average computer software & services industry P/E ratio of 19.3 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. International Game Technology has a market cap of $4.88 billion and is part of the technology sector and computer software & services industry. Shares are down 5.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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

Rating Change #3

SunTrust Banks Inc has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to buy. 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, expanding profit margins and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • SUNTRUST BANKS 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. During the past fiscal year, SUNTRUST BANKS INC turned its bottom line around by earning $0.93 versus -$0.17 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.77 versus $0.93).
  • 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 38.9% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $180.00 million to $250.00 million.
  • The gross profit margin for SUNTRUST BANKS INC is currently very high, coming in at 77.60%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 10.40% is above that of the industry average.
  • STI, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 1.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 1.1%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing 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 Commercial Banks industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, SUNTRUST BANKS INC underperformed against that of the industry average and is significantly less than that of the S&P 500.
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SunTrust Banks, Inc. operates as the holding company for SunTrust Bank, which provides various financial services in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 24, below the average banking industry P/E ratio of 24.8 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. SunTrust Banks has a market cap of $12.55 billion and is part of the financial sector and banking industry. Shares are up 31.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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

Rating Change #2

Hess Corp has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to buy. The company's strongest point has been its expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • HESS CORP's earnings per share declined by 41.6% 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, HESS CORP reported lower earnings of $5.01 versus $6.50 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($6.50 versus $5.01).
  • The revenue fell significantly faster than the industry average of 25.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 5.2%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • Despite any intermediate fluctuations, we have only bad news to report on this stock's performance over the last year: it has tumbled by 36.03%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 41.60% compared to the year-earlier quarter. Looking ahead, the stock's sharp decline over the past year may have been what was needed in order to bring its value into alignment with its fundamentals and others in its industry.
  • The gross profit margin for HESS CORP is rather low; currently it is at 23.60%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 5.60% trails that of the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $988.00 million or 12.95% 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.
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Hess Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, operates as an integrated energy company. The company operates in two segments, Exploration and Production (E&P) and Marketing and Refining (M&R). The company has a P/E ratio of 11, equal to the average energy industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Hess has a market cap of $18.8 billion and is part of the basic materials sector and energy industry. Shares are down 9.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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

Rating Change #1

FirstEnergy Corp 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 and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 4.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 24.9%. 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.
  • FIRSTENERGY 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 suffered a declining pattern of earnings per share over the past two years. However, we anticipate this trend to reverse over the coming year. During the past fiscal year, FIRSTENERGY CORP reported lower earnings of $2.13 versus $2.58 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($3.43 versus $2.13).
  • 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. 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.
  • 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 Electric Utilities industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 47.0% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $185.00 million to $98.00 million.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio of 1.31 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 0.26, which clearly demonstrates the inability to cover short-term cash needs.
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FirstEnergy Corp. operates as a diversified energy company. The company, through its subsidiaries, engages in the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity. The company has a P/E ratio of 21, equal to the average utilities industry P/E ratio and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. FirstEnergy has a market cap of $19.43 billion and is part of the utilities sector and utilities industry. Shares are up 5.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

You can view the full FirstEnergy 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.

Tickers in this article: DECK FE HES IGT LII SKT STI SWY WHR X