TheStreet Ratings Top 10 Rating Changes

Tickers in this article: AGNC AMAT ATE BTE DB EOC FAF MUR SNE TV

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 91 U.S. common stocks for week ending May 25, 2012. 28 stocks were upgraded and 63 stocks were downgraded by our stock model.

Rating Change #10

Murphy Oil Corporation 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 attractive valuation levels. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including disappointing return on equity, a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself and poor profit margins.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry average. The net income increased by 7.9% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $268.90 million to $290.07 million.
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 11.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 11.6%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • MURPHY OIL CORP has improved earnings per share by 22.1% 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, MURPHY OIL CORP reported lower earnings of $3.80 versus $4.04 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($5.85 versus $3.80).
  • MUR'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 30.01%, 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 company's current return on equity has slightly decreased from the same quarter one year prior. This implies a minor weakness in the organization. In comparison to the other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, MURPHY OIL CORP's return on equity is significantly below that of the industry average and is below that of the S&P 500.

Murphy Oil Corporation, through its subsidiaries, engages in the exploration and production of oil and gas properties worldwide. It explores for and produces crude oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids. The company has a P/E ratio of 11.6, above the average energy industry P/E ratio of 10.3 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Murphy Oil has a market cap of $9.2 billion and is part of the basic materials sector and energy industry. Shares are down 16% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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

Rating Change #9

Grupo Televisa S.A. 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 growth in earnings per share. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, generally poor debt management and disappointing return on equity.

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 Media industry. The net income increased by 60.9% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $73.06 million to $117.54 million.
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 13.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 6.8%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • GRUPO TELEVISA SAB 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, GRUPO TELEVISA SAB reported lower earnings of $1.05 versus $1.32 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.12 versus $1.05).
  • 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 Media industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, GRUPO TELEVISA SAB has outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500.
  • TV has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 13.22% from its price level of one year ago. Looking ahead, we do not see anything in this company's numbers that would change the one-year trend. It was down over the last twelve months; and it could be down again in the next twelve. Naturally, a bull or bear market could sway the movement of this stock.

Grupo Televisa, S.A.B., together with its subsidiaries, operates as a media company in Mexico and internationally. It operates in seven segments: Television Broadcasting, Pay Television Networks, Programming Exports, Publishing, Sky, Cable and Telecom, and Other Businesses. The company has a P/E ratio of 21.2, above the average media industry P/E ratio of 0.9 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Grupo Televisa S.A has a market cap of $11.35 billion and is part of the services sector and media industry. Shares are down 5.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

You can view the full Grupo Televisa S.A Ratings Report or get investment ideas from our investment research center.

Rating Change #8

National Electricity Company Of Chile Inc has been downgraded by TheStreet Ratings from buy to hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its good cash flow from operations and notable return on equity. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, poor profit margins and generally poor debt management.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $294.67 million or 27.54% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow, ENDESA-EMPR NAC ELEC (CHILE)'s average is still marginally south of the industry average growth rate of 31.76%.
  • EOC, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 12.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 5.8%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • 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 Independent Power Producers & Energy Traders industry and the overall market, ENDESA-EMPR NAC ELEC (CHILE)'s return on equity significantly exceeds that of the industry average and is above that of the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for ENDESA-EMPR NAC ELEC (CHILE) is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 33.80%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Regardless of the weak results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 12.00% is above that of 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 Independent Power Producers & Energy Traders industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 33.1% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $201.95 million to $135.11 million.

Empresa Nacional de Electricidad S.A., together with its subsidiaries, engages in the generation, transmission, production, and distribution of electricity. The company has a P/E ratio of 21, above the average utilities industry P/E ratio of 15.7 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. National Electricity Company of Chile has a market cap of $13.01 billion and is part of the utilities sector and utilities industry. Shares are up 7.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

You can view the full National Electricity Company of Chile Ratings Report or get investment ideas from our investment research center.

Rating Change #7

Sony Corporation has been downgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its feeble growth in its earnings per share, deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity, poor profit margins and weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • SONY 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. Earnings per share have declined over the last two years. We anticipate that this should continue in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, SONY CORP reported poor results of -$3.14 versus -$0.43 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 107.3% in earnings (-$6.51 versus -$3.14).
  • 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 Household Durables industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 329.2% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $901.20 million to -$2,065.49 million.
  • 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 Household Durables industry and the overall market, SONY CORP's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for SONY CORP is currently extremely low, coming in at 3.90%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to $1,748.45 million or 51.36% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite a decrease in cash flow SONY CORP is still fairing well by exceeding its industry average cash flow growth rate of -71.16%.

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 3.9, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Sony has a market cap of $13.82 billion and is part of the consumer goods sector and consumer durables industry. Shares are down 21.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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

Rating Change #6

Applied Materials Inc 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, attractive 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.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • AMAT's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.22 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 1.48, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • 46.40% is the gross profit margin for APPLIED MATERIALS 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 11.40% trails the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $603.00 million or 14.34% when compared to the same quarter last year. In conjunction, when comparing current results to the industry average, APPLIED MATERIALS INC has marginally lower results.
  • 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 Semiconductors & Semiconductor Equipment industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 40.9% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $489.00 million to $289.00 million.

Applied Materials, Inc. provides manufacturing equipment, services, and software to the semiconductor, flat panel display, solar photovoltaic (PV), and related industries worldwide. The company has a P/E ratio of 9.2, below the average electronics industry P/E ratio of 10.5 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Applied has a market cap of $13.76 billion and is part of the technology sector and electronics industry. Shares are down 1.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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

Rating Change #5

First American Financial Corp 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, revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, attractive valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

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 Insurance industry. The net income increased by 304.1% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$15.34 million to $31.29 million.
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 13.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 3.8%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • FAF's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.13 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 85.31% to -$7.29 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, FIRST AMERICAN FINANCIAL CP has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 32.78%.

First American Financial Corporation, through its subsidiaries, provides financial services in the United States and internationally. The company operates in two segments, Title Insurance and Services, and Specialty Insurance. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.2, below the average insurance industry P/E ratio of 13.4 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. First American Financial has a market cap of $1.65 billion and is part of the financial sector and insurance industry. Shares are up 22.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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

Rating Change #4

Advantest Corp 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, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and increase in net income. 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.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • ATE's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 18.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 86.8%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • ATE'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 1.36, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • The gross profit margin for ADVANTEST CORP is rather high; currently it is at 60.10%. 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 15.50% trails the industry average.
  • ATE has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 15.63% from its price level of one year ago. 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.
  • 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 Semiconductors & Semiconductor Equipment industry and the overall market, ADVANTEST CORP's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.

Advantest Corporation and its subsidiaries manufacture and sell semiconductor and component test system products, and mechatronics-related products. It operates in three segments: Semiconductor and Component Test System; Mechatronics System; and Services, Support, and Others. The company has a P/E ratio of 69, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Advantest has a market cap of $2.63 billion and is part of the technology sector and electronics industry. Shares are up 60.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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

Rating Change #3

Baytex Energy 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, compelling growth in net income, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations and impressive record of earnings per share growth. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • BTE's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 11.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 20.2%. 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 Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry. The net income increased by 4421.9% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $0.95 million to $42.96 million.
  • The gross profit margin for BAYTEX ENERGY CORP is rather high; currently it is at 56.30%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 14.80% is above that of the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $151.36 million or 26.24% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of 10.31%.
  • BAYTEX ENERGY CORP 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 year. During the past fiscal year, BAYTEX ENERGY CORP increased its bottom line by earning $1.83 versus $1.54 in the prior year.

Baytex Energy Corp., an oil and gas company, engages in the acquisition, development, and production of oil and natural gas in the western Canadian Sedimentary Basin and the United States. It offers heavy oil, light oil, and natural gas liquids. The company has a P/E ratio of 20.7, below the average energy industry P/E ratio of 20.8 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Baytex Energy has a market cap of $5.48 billion and is part of the basic materials sector and energy industry. Shares are down 19.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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

Rating Change #2

American Capital Agency 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, notable return on equity, attractive valuation levels, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally poor debt management on most measures that we evaluated.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • AGNC's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 17.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 332.7%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the 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. Although other factors naturally played a role, the company's strong earnings growth was key. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, it goes without saying that even the best stocks can fall in an overall down market. However, in any other environment, this stock still has good upside potential despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year.
  • 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 Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry and the overall market, AMERICAN CAPITAL AGENCY CORP's return on equity exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for AMERICAN CAPITAL AGENCY CORP is currently very high, coming in at 96.20%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 87.80% significantly outperformed against the industry average.

American Capital Agency Corp. operates as a real estate investment trust (REIT). The company has a P/E ratio of 5.2, above the average real estate industry P/E ratio of 5.1 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. American Capital Agency has a market cap of $9.61 billion and is part of the financial sector and real estate industry. Shares are up 14.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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

Rating Change #1

Deutsche Bank AG has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from sell to hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its attractive valuation levels, expanding profit margins 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 weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • DEUTSCHE BANK AG's earnings per share declined by 36.4% 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, DEUTSCHE BANK AG increased its bottom line by earning $5.55 versus $4.25 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($6.59 versus $5.55).
  • Regardless of the drop in revenue, the company managed to outperform against the industry average of 22.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 14.3%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is very high at 5.41 and currently higher than the industry average, implying that there is very poor management of debt levels within the company.
  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed against the S&P 500 and did not exceed that of the Capital Markets industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 37.0% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $2,924.54 million to $1,841.43 million.

Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft provides investment, financial, and related products and services. The company has a P/E ratio of 6.7, below the average banking industry P/E ratio of 7.7 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Deutsche has a market cap of $34.32 billion and is part of the financial sector and banking industry. Shares are down 2% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

You can view the full Deutsche 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: AGNC AMAT ATE BTE DB EOC FAF MUR SNE TV