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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The ADP report for the month of February came in lower than investors had expected Wednesday, likely leading to the 0.6% decline in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. However, according to Brian Rehling, co-head of global fixed income strategy at Wells Fargo Investment Institute, a unit of Wells Fargo ,the U.S. economy continues to grind along with moderate growth. The economy continues to move forward, he said, adding that February was a rough month in terms of weather for much of the U.S. While the month may act as a short-term speed bump, it shouldn't slow the economy down all that much. Rehling still expects to see job growth throughout 2015 and even pointed out that some economists are looking for unemployment to fall below 5% by the end of the year. SPDR S&P 500 ETF SPY data by Charts While the economy is slowly strengthening, investors shouldn't expect consumer spending to increase by significant proportions. There was a "generational event" when the Great Recession hit, he said. Consumers, particularly those in the middle class, will likely never spend as freely as they did pre-recession, as saving is a much larger focus nowadays. Savers should eventually benefit from an increase in interest rates, something that has been "well-communicated" from the Federal Reserve, Rehling said. Investors seem like that they can handle a rate hike, even one that comes as early as June, he added. However, more important than when interest rates increase is the pace at which the following rate hikes occur. The pace of future rate hikes will likely be slower than what investors have seen in the past, Rehling concluded. Must Read: Weak Sales, Tepid Outlook Overshadow Best Buy's Shareholder Bonanza -- Written by Bret Kenwell

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) –GoPro surged Wednesday after one of its suppliers posted strong fourth-quarter results and an analyst took that as a signal that greater growth lies ahead for the high-adventure video camera maker. Alibaba also soared after it announced it was opening a cloud data center, and SanDisk gained following a product announcement.GoPro soared 6.7% to close at $43.01.The video camera maker's chip supplier Ambarella posted strong fourth-quarter performance and, more importantly, noted its fiscal first-quarter revenue would reach the $64 million to $68 million range. That was far above analysts estimates of $59 million in revenue. With GoPro's supplier feeling a strong market lays ahead, so do some of the analysts who follow GoPro. JMP Securities, for example, pointed to such catalysts as GoPro's Hero4+ upgrade cycle, an expansion of its skill in taking advantage of opportunities in new media and an introduction to a cloud platform as some of the catalysts that will drive GoPro's shares higher, according to a report in Benzinga. Alibaba surged 4.8% to end the session at $85.49. That's quite a turnaround the for the Chinese e-commerce giant, which took a beating Tuesday after reports surfaced that alleged its Web sites had "fake" customer orders and, separately, the Taiwanese government planned to kick the company out of the region within the next six months.Alibaba apparently received a lift after announcing it would open a cloud data center in Silicon Valley. The California site will be the first overseas expansion for Alibaba's Aliyun, a cloud data center business, according to the Los Angeles Times.This U.S. expansion comes at a time when there are other large players already in the market, such as Amazon's AWS cloud operation and Microsoft's Azure. SanDisk popped 4.5% to close at $82.68.The company surged after its announcement Tuesday that it would offer a new storage array that relies on flash memory derived from its joint-venture with Toshiba. SanDisk's new flash storage system, InfiniFlash, aims to increase data speed while also cutting the cost of flash, notes a Barron's report.Not only did SanDisk introduce InfiniFlash, but earlier this week it introduced a new microSD card that can hold a sizable 200 GB of data, as well as a new NAND flash module for tablets and smartphones that will support information transfer speeds of up to 1 Gbps. Must Read: Warren Buffett's Top 10 Dividend Stocks

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- With the S&P 500 Trust Series ETF down five out of the last six trading days, it would appear that the stock indexes are set for a move higher heading into the jobs report on Friday. The DJIA was down 106.47 points on Wednesday to close at 18,096.90 and the S&P 500 was lower by 9.25 to close at 2,098.53. The Nasdaq lost 12.75 points to finish at 4,967.14 and the Russell 200 lost 4.03 to close at 1,230.72. The SPY volume once again traded over 106 million shares on a down day. There is a pattern here with down days versus up days. This stock market may at the "end of the rainbow" in 2015 versus the beginning of the rainbow. There are many anecdotal pieces of evidence that have been alluded to in these columns that suggest traders and investors need to be extremely cautious going forward. Mark Cuban, Dallas Mavericks owner and the founder of Broadcast.com during the dot-com era, recently tweeted that he was about to write a blog post explaining why the tech bubble today is far worse than the tech bubble that burst 15 years ago. That does not mean that the stock market is going to crash tomorrow. But traders and investors need to start preparing for the next major move in the stock market. So, start now to prepare yourself. Must Read: Amazon, Twitter, Uber and the Next Internet Bubble

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of SandRidge Energy closed higher today, up 0.29% at $1.74, as West Texas Intermediate crude rebounded. West Texas Intermediate erased earlier losses, moving higher by 2.4% to $51.73 at 4:30 p.m in New York. Brent fell 1.31% to $60.97.U.S. crude futures extended gains on Wednesday after the Fed said the economy continued to expand across most regions and sectors from early January through mid-February, with auto sales and consumer spending rising in most Fed districts, Reuters reports.Oil prices started lower today on data that showed U.S. crude supplies hit another record high last week.U.S. crude stockpiles increased by 10.3 million barrels to 444.4 million barrels last week, the Energy Information Administration said. The increase is more than double the average of analysts' estimates for an increase of 4.6 million barrels, according to data collected by the Wall Street Journal."The build is massive," Again Capital partner John Kilduff told the Journal. Separately, TheStreet's Daniel Dicker recently penned 'Shale Cycle Busts Out a Pair of Zeros' on Realmoneypro.com in which he elucidates in detail the ongoing problems with the Oklahoma City-based oil and natural gas company. Here's a snippet of what he had to say: "SandRidge's problems ... didn't begin with the crude collapse, although lower oil prices are delivering the coup de grace. Former CEO Tom Ward expanded the company with the same exuberance and overconfidence of his former partner at Chesapeake Energy , Aubrey McClendon. Missteps in the Gulf of Mexico and particularly in the Utica Shale have left SandRidge with a much less flexible portfolio of oil assets, and its most important stake in the Mississippi Lime shale play. Getting in and out of poor-performing assets and disappointing results in the Miss Lime has left the company saddled with a massive debt burden. SandRidge bonds are now trading at under 70 cents on the dollar for a more than 14% yield. [On March 2], KLR Group downgraded SandRidge to zero." -Daniel Dicker, 'Shale Cycle Busts Out a Pair of Zeros' originally published 3/2/2015 on Realmoneypro.com. The average recommendation of 17 brokers' estimates on the stock is a 3.5, with a 3 rating representing a "hold" and a 4 an "underperform" according to Reuters. The mean price target is $1.60. SandRidge Energy is an oil and natural gas company that focuses on exploration and production activities in the Mid-Continent region of the U.S. TheStreet Ratings team rates SANDRIDGE ENERGY INC as a Sell with a ratings score of D+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: "We rate SANDRIDGE ENERGY INC (SD) a SELL. This is driven by a number of negative factors, which we believe should have a greater impact than any strengths, and could make it more difficult for investors to achieve positive results compared to most of the stocks we cover. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its weak operating cash flow, generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself and generally high debt management risk." Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows: Net operating cash flow has decreased to $164.89 million or 21.60% when compared to the same quarter last year. In conjunction, when comparing current results to the industry average, SANDRIDGE ENERGY INC has marginally lower results. SD'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 69.67%, 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. Currently the debt-to-equity ratio of 1.80 is quite high overall and when compared to the industry average, suggesting that the current management of debt levels should be re-evaluated. Even though the debt-to-equity ratio is weak, SD's quick ratio is somewhat strong at 1.37, demonstrating the ability to handle short-term liquidity needs. 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 Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, SANDRIDGE ENERGY INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500. SD, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 18.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 20.1%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share. You can view the full analysis from the report here: SD Ratings Report Want more information like this from Daniel Dicker and 40 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds BEFORE your stock moves? Learn more about RealMoneyPro.com now.

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- HCA Holdings shares closed trading up 5.85% to $74.93 on Wednesday as healthcare stocks rallied following a U.S. Supreme Court hearing on the Affordable Care Act today.The Court heard arguments from opponents of the law who say that the subsidies central to the success of the program should not be dispersed in the 34 states that have failed to set up their own exchanges, often times because of their opposition to the law.Exclusive Report: Jim Cramer's Best Stocks for 2015The increase came after the Court's swing vote, Justice Anthony Kennedy, said that there is a "serious constitutional problem" if the subsidies provided under the affordable care act were ruled unlawful, according to Bloomberg.Hospital stocks have benefited from the implementation of the law which provides subsidies for Americans looking for health insurance who cannot afford it and penalizes citizens over a certain age who do not have health insurance.The Affordable Care Act will distribute $22 billion in subsidies this year, according to the Congressional Budget Office.The law has spurred 11.4 million Americans to sign up for coverage in 2015, giving hospitals an expanded base of customers who now can afford care through their insurance. TheStreet Ratings team rates HCA HOLDINGS INC as a Buy with a ratings score of B-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: "We rate HCA HOLDINGS INC (HCA) a BUY. This is driven by a number of strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, revenue growth, good cash flow from operations and compelling growth in net income. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook." Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows: Powered by its strong earnings growth of 29.34% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 43.16% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, HCA should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year. HCA HOLDINGS INC has improved earnings per share by 29.3% 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, HCA HOLDINGS INC increased its bottom line by earning $4.18 versus $3.36 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($4.92 versus $4.18). Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 18.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 9.1%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share. Net operating cash flow has increased to $1,627.00 million or 32.70% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow of 32.70%, HCA HOLDINGS INC is still growing at a significantly lower rate than the industry average of 105.25%. The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500, but is less than that of the Health Care Providers & Services industry average. The net income increased by 24.3% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $424.00 million to $527.00 million. You can view the full analysis from the report here: HCA Ratings Report

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of H&R Block were gaining 0.8% to $33.70 after-hours Wednesday after the tax preparation company beat analysts' estimates for earnings in the fiscal third quarter. H&R Block reported a loss of 13 cents a share for the fiscal third quarter, beating analysts' estimates of a loss of 17 cents a share. Revenue grew 154.8% year over year to $509.07 million for the quarter, below analysts' estimates of $517.7 million. The company said that its revenue for the quarter increased so dramatically due to the IRS opening its e-file system earlier than it did in 2014. H&R Block said its number of prepared and processed U.S. tax returns fell 4.2% from the year-ago quarter. The decline is due to Affordable Care Act delays and errors, the elimination of certain promotions, competitor pricing strategies, and industry-wide fraud issues, according to the company. "Despite being disappointed by the decline in early season volume, we are pleased with our monetization, overall return mix, and Tax Plus product attach rates through both our assisted channel and digital do-it-yourself products," President and CEO Bill Cobb said. TheStreet Ratings team rates BLOCK H & R INC as a Buy with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: "We rate BLOCK H & R INC (HRB) a BUY. This is driven by a number of strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. 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 and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income." You can view the full analysis from the report here: HRB Ratings Report HRB data by YCharts

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Pacific Ethanol Inc. are higher by 9% to $10.17 in after-hours trading on Wednesday afternoon, following the company's fourth quarter earnings results which beat analysts' expectations for the period. The company, which markets and produces low-carbon renewable fuels in the Western U.S., said its adjusted net earnings for the most recent quarter were 41 cents per diluted share versus the 15 cents analysts had predicted for the quarter. Net sales for the 2014 fourth quarter grew to $256.2 million, compared to the $246.37 million analysts were anticipating. The company said the rise in revenue can be attributed to an increase in total gallons sold. "Our record financial and operating results in 2014 are a culmination of numerous efficiency and debt reduction initiatives we implemented over the past several years combined with strong market fundamentals. With our solid balance sheet and cash flow, we are both reinvesting in our production assets and pursuing a merger with Aventine that will redefine Pacific Ethanol's competitive position in the ethanol industry, making us the fifth largest ethanol producer and marketer in the country," company CEO Neil Koehler said. Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates PACIFIC ETHANOL INC as a Hold with a ratings score of C. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: "We rate PACIFIC ETHANOL INC (PEIX) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. 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 impressive record of earnings per share growth. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself and poor profit margins."You can view the full analysis from the report here: PEIX Ratings Report PEIX data by YCharts

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Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of Jim Cramer, TheStreet, Inc., or any of its contributors. TheStreet Ratings quantitative algorithm evaluates over 4,300 stocks on a daily basis by 32 different data factors and assigns a unique buy, sell, or hold recommendation on each stock. Click here to learn more. NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Wynn Resorts has been downgraded by TheStreet Ratings from Buy to Hold with a ratings score of C. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: "We rate WYNN RESORTS LTD (WYNN) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed, some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. Among the primary strengths of the company is its expanding profit margins over time. At the same time, however, we also find weaknesses including unimpressive growth in net income, weak operating cash flow and feeble growth in the company's earnings per share." Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows: 38.51% is the gross profit margin for WYNN RESORTS LTD which we consider to be strong. Regardless of WYNN'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 9.60% trails the industry average. WYNN, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 7.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 25.1%. 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 41.27%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 49.04% 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. 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 48.9% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $213.88 million to $109.35 million. Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to $124.19 million or 68.58% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower. You can view the full analysis from the report here: WYNN Ratings Report

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- CST Brands stock closed up 3.48% to $42.21 in afternoon trading Wednesday after Credit Suisse had increased its price target to $44 from $40, while maintaining a "neutral" rating. "We expect CST to be active on the acquisition front with CrossAmerica , particularly after May 1, as the separation agreement with Valero expires," analysts said about the transportation fuels and convenience goods retailer.However, if margins do not recover to averages of the previous two to three years, U.S. gasoline margin progression poses a potential risk to CST Brands, Credit Suisse added.Driven by the drop down of CST's gasoline distribution margins into CrossAmerica, target valuation also contemplates nearly $6 per share, analysts said. Credit Suisse lowered their 2015 fiscal earnings forecast to $1.77 from $1.90 per share, but increased 2016 earnings estimates to $2.12 from $1.99 per share. Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates CST BRANDS INC as a Hold with a ratings score of C. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: "We rate CST BRANDS INC (CST) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, compelling growth in net income and revenue growth. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including generally higher debt management risk and poor profit margins." Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows: Powered by its strong earnings growth of 175.00% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 28.56% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. 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. The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Specialty Retail industry. The net income increased by 176.5% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $34.00 million to $94.00 million. 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. In comparison to other companies in the Specialty Retail industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, CST BRANDS INC has underperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has greatly exceeded that of the S&P 500. The gross profit margin for CST BRANDS INC is currently extremely low, coming in at 7.40%. Regardless of CST's low profit margin, it has managed to increase from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 3.48% trails the industry average. The debt-to-equity ratio of 1.25 is relatively high when compared with the industry average, suggesting a need for better debt level management. You can view the full analysis from the report here: CST Ratings Report

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- West Texas Intermediate prices are volatile Wednesday, initially declining to $49.60 per barrel, before reversing its losses. In late trading crude was $51.68 per barrel, up 2.3%. According to McNamara Options' Mike McPartland, it's noteworthy that oil prices stayed above $48 per barrel. He explained that a close below that level, which has acted as support in recent weeks, could have paved the way for lower prices. There have been mounting concerns that crude oil, which is being stored in enormous amounts, will eventually see its storage options evaporate as the commodity begins to approach its capacity limits. The amount of oil that's currently being stored is "extraordinary," McPartland said. United States Oil ETF USO data by YCharts However, the concern that oil investors will ultimately run out of storage options in the next few months might not be as big a concern as some may think. McPartland says the tough winter weather has prevented refiners from operating at a higher capacity. In fact, some refiners in the Northeast are operating at less than 70%. As the weather begins to improve and demand for gasoline picks up for the summer driving season, it's reasonable to theorize that refiners' demand for oil should increase as well, thereby reducing some of the supply currently in storage. As for resistance, McPartland is looking at the $55 level, as the commodity remains range-bound between $48 and $55 per barrel. "I wouldn't be over-anxious to sell" oil unless it breaks below $48, McPartland concluded. Must Read: Warren Buffett's Top 10 Dividend Stocks

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- It was another down day for stocks after a disappointing payrolls preview triggered fears about the economy ahead of Friday's official report. Adding to the market's sour mood, the Federal Reserve said several regions of the U.S. were hurt by lower oil prices in February. The S&P 500 was down 0.43% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled 0.58%, falling further from record highs set on Monday, while the Nasdaq declined 0.26%, down from its 15-year high 5,000 level. But recent declines are likely to be short-lived and haven't undermined the market's upward trajectory, said Geoffrey Pazzanese, portfolio manager at Federated Investors. "The market has been on a straight line up now for 14 months with some corrections as you go," he said in a call. "There's times when we're going to have corrections but we're still on an upward long-run bull market trend... Usually they present a buying opportunity for investors." ADP said just 212,000 jobs were added to private payrolls in February, representing a nine-month low and sparking fears February's official jobs report would signal a slackening labor market after months of robust strength. The reading was less than an expected 220,000 increase. "ADP's report certainly tempers expectations for Friday's employment report," said Sterne Agee chief economist Lindsey Piegza. "Weakness resulting from port disruptions and cold winter weather may, however, act as a welcome scapegoat for an overly soft February report putting increased pressure on the March release to signal the 'real' underlying trend in U.S. employment." The Bureau of Labor Statistics will release the U.S. jobs report for February on Friday. Expectations are for 235,000 jobs to have been added to nonfarm payrolls compared to 257,000 a month earlier. The unemployment rate is forecast to tick down 100 basis points to 5.6%. The U.S. economy continued to expand across all 12 districts, though half saw slower growth, the Fed said in the latest "Beige Book," a collection of anecdotal economic information. The effect of lower oil prices continued to hurt regions reliant on the commodity including Dallas, Minneapolis and Kansas City. Drilling activity declined in several states, while a number of energy producers said they expect to cut capital spending this year. Alcoa was downgraded to "neutral" from "buy" at Bank of America as analysts said worsening aluminum fundamentals had put pressure on the company. Full-year earnings estimates were also decreased to $1.15 a share from $1.30. Shares fell 3.9%. U.S. crude oil inventories increased 10.3 million barrels over the week ended Feb. 27, up from 8.4 million barrels in the prior week, according to the Energy Information Administration. The total was more than double an expected increase of 4.2 million barrel. West Texas Intermediate crude recovered from earlier losses, climbing 2.4% to $51.71 a barrel. Exxon Mobil was the latest and largest oil company to announce a cut to capital spending in the face of plunging commodity prices. The oiler reduced capital spending by 12% to $34 billion over 2015, following in the footsteps of rivals Chevron and Royal Dutch Shell . Major oilers have been forced to cut future spending plans as sliding oil prices reduced profitability. Lumber Liquidators turned sharply lower, down 12.5% on Wednesday afternoon, after Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida called for a federal probe into the company over the safety of its products. Shares have been under pressure after a 60 Minutes report found dangerously high chemical levels in some of its Chinese-made goods, linking the company to pricey health and safety violations. Abercrombie & Fitch slumped more than 15% after quarterly sales tumbled nearly 14% and comparable-store sales fell 10%. Fellow teen retailer American Eagle Outfitters jumped 7.7% after fourth-quarter earnings of 36 cents a share beat estimates by 2 cents and revenue climbed 3%. Firearms manufacturer Smith & Wesson jumped nearly 10% after beating analysts' estimates on its top- and bottom-lines. The company also raised its full-year earnings forecast as high as 89 cents a share from a previous 78 cents.

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NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Pre-workday morning raves are all the rage for urban professionals with companies like Daybreaker and Morning Gloryville gaining momentum across the country and world. But it’s not just an opportunity for employees to get up and seize the day; brands, especially those targeting health and wellness, can also capitalize on this fad. Amid the fanfare – since its December 2013 launch, Daybreaker has welcomed 25,000 dancers at 52 raves – these events allow brands like Naked Juice, a subsidiary of PepsiCo PEP, to attach themselves to an environment that emphasizes values they support, according to Andrea Theodore, senior director of marketing at Naked Emerging Brands. "Daybreaker events bring together health-minded and trend-forward individuals motivated by a pre-dawn, pre-office dance party that cultivates community, self-expression and wellness," she said. "Naked Juice shares these passions, so it makes sense for us to be part of these fun and energizing events." Fueling the party, sometimes quite literally, allows brands like Naked, or athletic apparel maker Lululemon ,to be present with the audience they want to attract and retain. KIND, the health snack bar maker, is not a formal partner of Daybreaker but has participated in local events in cities around the U.S. by providing its products for consumption. "Daybreaker events center around spreading positive energy and living an active lifestyle, which aligns with KIND’s brand values," said Joe Cohen, senior vice president of communications at KIND. "These events are a unique and fun channel to connect with Millennial consumers while delivering the message that we offer delicious, nutrient-rich products that satisfy your body and your taste buds." The Millennial cohort of ambitious, healthy professionals attending Daybreaker self-selects as the ideal audience for exposure to health-conscious brands. Howard Belk, co-CEO and chief creative officer of Siegel+Gale, a global strategic branding firm, said building an emotional connection between brands and consumers at these trendsetting events is vital. Must Read: 10 Stocks Carl Icahn Loves for 2015: Apple, eBay, Hertz and More "Our research shows the number one driver of brand affinity is an emotional connection between consumers and brands," he said. "Brands that can insert themselves into unique events such as Daybreaker are more likely to foster this emotional connection." That’s because the brands present, like Naked and Lululemon, align with the values of the consumers. "The people in attendance want high performance clothing and healthy, alcohol-free sustenance, so it's a terrific strategy for these lifestyle brands to integrate themselves with the event in a meaningful way," he said. Health and Wealth – Changing Perceptions Of course, with health plays becoming an increasingly important factor in a world where calorie counting is de rigeur and trans fats are anathema, the health and wellness stressed at these events can have a dovetail effect on a brand’s adoption among consumers. Siegel+Gale’s Belk notes, a major driver of brand preference is what consumers believe a brand says about them; for example, does using or consuming a particular brand’s product mean they are healthy and fit? "We know Millennials are interested in fitness and healthy living, so it’s a no-brainer for these brands to attach themselves to Daybreaker events," he said. That allows PepsiCo to play up its health segment clout through its association with Daybreaker. "As one of the world's leading food and beverage companies, PepsiCo plays an important role in helping people lead healthier lives," Theodore said. "We are focused on providing options that meet consumer needs for both nutrition as well as convenience - and continue to focus on growing our health and wellness products." She continued that Naked Juice epitomizes how the PepsiCo is dedicated to nutrition. Of course with carbonated beverage volume running flat and dropping within a health-conscious population, PepsiCo has been trying to roll out new healthy products. "Most all of these products that we are launching this year have health benefits beyond our normal portfolio," said Al Carey, CEO of Americas Beverages at PepsiCo during the February Consumer Analyst Group of New York Conference. "For example, juices: sugar reduced, zero calorie, and even portion controls. Eight of the nine products you see on this lineup up here are products that are launching in 2015, most of them just going out the door right now, and almost all of them have improved health benefits for the total -- for the consumer and the category." Because of these health-focused launches, Carey said he was bullish on PepsiCo’s product news from a profitability standpoint. One such launch is Kickstart, coconut juice in a slim can with 60% less sugar than a normal Mountain Dew. There’s also zero-calorie Propel Electrolyte Water by Gatorade and low-calorie Lipton Sparkling Tea. Must Read: 10 Stocks Billionaire John Paulson Loves In the fourth quarter of 2014, PepsiCo experienced strong organic sales growth of 5.0%, an acceleration of 190 basis points compared to the third quarter. Coke, by contrast, had organic sales growth of 2% in Q4 vs. Q3. According to Dara Mohsenian’s Morgan Stanley research from February, PEP’s steady year-over-year gross margin expansion over the last nine quarters will continue with pricing and productivity into 2015. The company's gross margin expansion, up 55 basis points year-over-year in the last 12 months, is impressive compared with peers Procter & Gamble (down 40 basis points) and Coke (up only 20 basis points) over the same period. That means PEP is generating higher quality earnings per share than its peers. In its February 11 research note, Deutsche Bank analyst Bill Schmitz Jr. noted that PepsiCo’s smaller brands like Naked, along with its coffee and teas offerings, continue to show outsized growth, with still volume of beverages in the Americas up 4% this quarter. Continuing to promote these products at events like Daybreaker is a beneficial play for the company overall. Lululemon has faced a spate of bad press amid product mishaps (sheer luon pants) and PR disasters (disparaging comments from former CEO Chip Wilson); attaching itself to the positivity of Daybreaker events could help the brand restoration process. There’s still room for improvement. According to a November 2014 Credit Suisse report, LULU has managed to boost sentiment 9% year-over-year, but it is still 7 points below average in the "athleisure" group. In-store yoga classes and community engagement events are key to customer engagement and retention for LULU, and Daybreaker events fit squarely in that strategy. "LULU’s organic customer engagement is a competitive advantage that we believe would be difficult for non-vertically integrated brands to replicate," Wedbush analyst Morry Brown wrote in a December equity research report. "LULU’s culture is driven entirely by a focus on its customer’s lifestyle and engagement with the core customer." Lululemon did not return TheStreet’s request for commentary on this article Weight Watching From Dayreaker’s standpoint, maintaining the integrity of the party product – and the philosophy for physical and emotional wellness powering it – is of the essence. That means unhealthy brand attachments are not welcome. "We’ve turned down partnership opportunities with some unhealthy beverage companies," said Matt Brimer, Daybreaker co-founder. "They just weren’t really brand-aligned…Money aside, that’s a long term strategy...what we care about is making sure that the brand purity is very strong." The consumer product has to be in synch with the environment these experience-oriented companies like Daybreaker are trying to create. Brands that fit the bill stand to benefit from the connection these events catalyze, according to Natasha Ellis, founder of Alive + Well, a "vitality experiences" representation service that helps brands and individuals conceive meaningful forms of engagement. "Millennials are seeking meaningful experiences via IRL activations such as DayBreaker, Sofar Sounds, DinerLab and others which are providing emotional, communal and creative intimacy that attendees are craving as they balance their digital and physical worlds," she said. "Brands who align themselves with this 'vitality experiences' movement benefit from being felt and embraced as a genuine, connected and contemporary brand." Must Read: Warren Buffett's Top 10 Stock Buys --Written by Ross Kenneth Urken for TheStreet

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Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of Jim Cramer, TheStreet, Inc., or any of its contributors. TheStreet Ratings quantitative algorithm evaluates over 4,300 stocks on a daily basis by 32 different data factors and assigns a unique buy, sell, or hold recommendation on each stock. Click here to learn more. NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Weight Watchers International has been downgraded by TheStreet Ratings from Hold to Sell with a ratings score of D. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: "We rate WEIGHT WATCHERS INTL INC (WTW) a SELL. This is driven by multiple weaknesses, which we believe should have a greater impact than any strengths, and could make it more difficult for investors to achieve positive results compared to most of the stocks we cover. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its feeble growth in its earnings per share, deteriorating net income and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself." Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows: WEIGHT WATCHERS INTL INC has experienced 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, WEIGHT WATCHERS INTL INC reported lower earnings of $1.72 versus $3.63 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 64.0% in earnings ($0.62 versus $1.72). 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 152.3% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $30.80 million to -$16.10 million. Despite any intermediate fluctuations, we have only bad news to report on this stock's performance over the last year: it has tumbled by 49.30%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 151.85% 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. WTW, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 7.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 13.3%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share. The gross profit margin for WEIGHT WATCHERS INTL INC is rather high; currently it is at 54.73%. Regardless of WTW's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, WTW's net profit margin of -4.91% significantly underperformed when compared to the industry average. You can view the full analysis from the report here: WTW Ratings Report

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Lumber Liquidators fell 13.09% to $35.44 in afternoon trading today after U.S. Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) asked three federal agencies to investigate the company following a report Sunday on '60 Minutes' that alleged that some of its wood flooring products had dangerous levels of formaldehyde, Reuters reported. The senator reportedly sent a letter requesting the investigation to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Federal Trade Commission to test formaldehyde levels in the company's laminate flooring materials imported from China. The stock rebounded to close up 5% yesterday after plummeting more than 25% in a selloff on Monday following the report. Exclusive Report: Jim Cramer's Best Stocks for 2015 The original source of information that led to the news segment can be traced back to a blog post from an obscure 25-year-old short seller, according to Bloomberg. Xuhua Zhou, a UCLA finance doctoral program dropout, started researching the Toano, VA-based flooring company about two years ago, Bloomberg noted. After seeing a surge in the company's gross profit margin, Zhou found that it sourced some products from China, which raised his suspicions that safety might have been compromised in pursuit of lower costs, he told Bloomberg in an interview. The Street's Jim Cramer said that the report on the Chinese goods that may or may not have been "up to snuff" was "tough enough" that it might "set back Lumber Liquidators for a very long time." "Lumber Liquidators sourced American and sourced Chinese, but you can bet after the drubbing its company and its stock have suffered in the last week, they wish they never heard of China," Cramer said in 'Cramer: Are Chinese Vitamins Next?' on Realmoneypro.com, where you can read more about his thoughts on sourcing other products from China, namely Vitamins. Here's a snippet of what he had to say: "I am wondering after the scandal involving Chinese drywall that caused respiratory problems, the 2007 Mattel recall of almost one million toys because the Chinese used paint with lead in it, or after the Chinese pet food debacle and now the Lumber Liquidators taint, whether someone isn't about to blow the whistle on the Chinese vitamin supplements that we think are American. When they do, the first thing that will happen is you can see raised numbers at Perrigo , [which makes many generic store-branded products] because its vitamin plants are in the U.S. and are fully compliant. Someone's selling Chinese vitamins on the cheap and are hoping to get away with it." -Jim Cramer, 'Cramer: Are Chinese Vitamins Next?' originally published 3/3/2015 on Realmoneypro.com. Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates LUMBER LIQUIDATORS HLDGS INC as a Buy with a ratings score of B-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: "We rate LUMBER LIQUIDATORS HLDGS INC (LL) a BUY. This is driven by a few notable strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, reasonable valuation levels, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself." Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows: Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 13.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 4.6%. 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. LL 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. Even though the company has a strong debt-to-equity ratio, the quick ratio of 0.09 is very weak and demonstrates a lack of ability to pay short-term obligations. 39.15% is the gross profit margin for LUMBER LIQUIDATORS HLDGS INC which we consider to be strong. Regardless of LL'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 5.91% trails the industry average. LUMBER LIQUIDATORS HLDGS INC's earnings per share declined by 20.5% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. We feel it is likely to report a decline in earnings in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, LUMBER LIQUIDATORS HLDGS INC increased its bottom line by earning $2.77 versus $1.68 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 3.2% in earnings ($2.68 versus $2.77). You can view the full analysis from the report here: LL Ratings Report Want more information like this from Jim Cramer BEFORE your stock moves? Learn more about Realmoneypro.com now.

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Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of Jim Cramer, TheStreet, Inc., or any of its contributors. TheStreet Ratings quantitative algorithm evaluates over 4,300 stocks on a daily basis by 32 different data factors and assigns a unique buy, sell, or hold recommendation on each stock. Click here to learn more. NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- United Parcel Service has been downgraded by TheStreet Ratings from Buy to Hold with a ratings score of C+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: "We rate UNITED PARCEL SERVICE INC (UPS) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed, some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity and increase in stock price during the past year. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, premium valuation and poor profit margins." Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows: UPS's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 4.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 6.1%. 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. 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 Air Freight & Logistics industry and the overall market, UNITED PARCEL SERVICE INC's return on equity significantly exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500. The gross profit margin for UNITED PARCEL SERVICE INC is currently extremely low, coming in at 8.10%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 2.84% trails that of the industry average. Net operating cash flow has decreased to $1,535.00 million or 31.59% 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. You can view the full analysis from the report here: UPS Ratings Report

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Brown-Forman shares are down 0.77% to $90.51 in trading on Wednesday after the alcohol manufacturer reported its third quarter earnings results before the opening bell today.The Jack Daniels bottler reported third quarter net income of $186 million, or 87 cents per share on revenue of $797 million. Analysts on average were expecting the company to report third quarter earnings of 87 cents per share on revenue of $816 million.Exclusive Report: Jim Cramer's Best Stocks for 2015The company also provided full year EPS guidance between $3.15 and $3.25 per diluted share, the midpoint missing analysts' consensus $3.23 per share earning expectations.The company reported that sales of its Jack Daniels brand whiskey grew 8% over the same period last year, led by a 32% surge in Jack Daniels Tennessee Honey sales. Finlandia vodka sales fell 9% during the period and its Southern Comfort brand whiskey sales dropped 5%. TheStreet Ratings team rates BROWN-FORMAN as a Buy with a ratings score of A-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: "We rate BROWN-FORMAN (BF.B) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. 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, expanding profit margins, growth in earnings per share and increase in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company is trading at a premium valuation based on our review of its current price compared to such things as earnings and book value." Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows: You can view the full analysis from the report here: BF.B Ratings Report BF.B data by YCharts

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of IBM are down 14.5% in the past 12 months, but that isn't deterring Erin Gibbs, the equity chief investment officer of S&P Capital IQ, from liking the stock. The company is "actually doing pretty good at slowly shifting" from its legacy business, toward cloud and mobile services, she explained. IBM is expected to endure a long, but hopefully successful, restructuring under Project Chrome. The turnaround has been slow, but appears to be headed in the right direction. The share buyback and 2.75% dividend yield doesn't hurt either. IBM is a "really good value and a very profitable company," she added. International Business Machines IBM data by YCharts CenturyLink is another company enduring a long turnaround process, but looks attractive on the long side. The company is losing landline customers as the shift to the modern era continues, but is boosting its revenue from increased broadband and TV subscriptions, Gibbs explained. The stock has an large dividend yield close to 5.75% and an "extremely attractive" valuation, she added. CenturyLink also buys back a lot of stock. Finally, Gap is also attractive. While the company's Gap and Banana Republic brands have been struggling, its Old Navy and Athletica brands have been doing quiet well. As a result, Gap has hired two new managers to help spur growth for the struggling brands, Gibbs said. Gap also has a good share buyback program and attractive profits. It's an "all-around good value," she said. -- Written by Bret Kenwell Must Read: Warren Buffett's Top 10 Dividend Stocks

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stocks recovered from session lows though remained in the red on Wednesday as the Federal Reserve said several regions of the U.S. were hurt by lower oil prices over February. The S&P 500 fell 0.44%, the Dow fell 0.72%, and the Nasdaq declined 0.27%. The U.S. economy continued to expand across all 12 districts, though half saw slower growth, the Fed said in the latest "Beige Book," a collection of anecdotal economic information. The effect of lower oil prices continued to hurt regions reliant on the commodity including Dallas, Minneapolis and Kansas City. Drilling activity declined in several states, while a number of energy producers said they expect to cut capital spending this year. Alcoa was downgraded to "neutral" from "buy" at Bank of America as analysts said worsening aluminum fundamentals had put pressure on the company. Full-year earnings estimates were also decreased to $1.15 a share from $1.30. Shares fell 4.1%. U.S. crude oil inventories increased 10.3 million barrels over the week ended Feb. 27, up from 8.4 million barrels in the prior week, according to the Energy Information Administration. The total was more than double an expected increase of 4.2 million barrel. West Texas Intermediate crude recovered from earlier losses, climbing 1.9% to $51.47 a barrel. Exxon Mobil was the latest and largest oil company to announce a cut to capital spending in the face of plunging commodity prices. The oiler reduced capital spending by 12% to $34 billion over 2015, following in the footsteps of rivals Chevron and Royal Dutch Shell . Major oilers have been forced to cut future spending plans as sliding oil prices reduced profitability. The ISM Non-Manufacturing Index improved to 56.9 in February from 56.7 a month earlier, an unexpected increase as economists expected a slide to 56.5. Business activity slipped slightly, down to 59.4 from 61.5. Service sector activity expanded in February with the U.S. PMI Services Index climbing to a four-month high from 54.2 in January. Economists had expected a reading of 54.8.of 57.1 ADP said 212,000 jobs were added to private payrolls in February, a nine-month low and slightly lower than in January. The reading was less than an expected 220,000 increase. "ADP's report certainly tempers expectations for Friday's employment report," said Sterne Agee chief economist Lindsey Piegza. "Weakness resulting from port disruptions and cold winter weather may, however, act as a welcome scapegoat for an overly soft February report putting increasedpressure on the March release to signal the 'real' underlying trend in U.S. employment." The Bureau of Labor Statistics will release the U.S. jobs report for February on Friday. Expectations are for 235,000 jobs to have been added to nonfarm payrolls compared to 257,000 a month earlier. The unemployment rate is forecast to tick down 100 basis points to 5.6%. Lumber Liquidators turned sharply lower, down 11.8% on Wednesday afternoon, after Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida called for a federal probe into the company over the safety of its products. Shares have been under pressure after a 60 Minutes report found dangerously high chemical levels in some of its Chinese-made goods, linking the company to pricey health and safety violations. Abercrombie & Fitch slumped more than 12% after quarterly sales tumbled nearly 14% and comparable-store sales fell 10%. Fellow teen retailer American Eagle Outfitters jumped 9.3% after fourth-quarter earnings of 36 cents a share beat estimates by 2 cents and revenue climbed 3%. Bob Evans Farms tanked 21.2% after reporting earnings below estimates and announcing it won't pursue a sale or spinoff of its BEF Foods segment. TiVo jumped 2.7% after beating quarterly earnings and revenue forecasts on an increase in customer subscriptions. Target was slightly lower after announcing plans to cut thousands of jobs in a restructuring designed to reduce costs by $2 billion over two years. At its analyst day presentation, the retailer also guided for 2015 earnings as high as $4.65 a share, above analysts' estimates of $4.50 a share. Firearms manufacturer Smith & Wesson jumped nearly 10% after beating analysts' estimates on its top- and bottom-lines. The company also raised its full-year earnings forecast as high as 89 cents a share from a previous 78 cents.

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Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of Jim Cramer, TheStreet, Inc., or any of its contributors. TheStreet Ratings quantitative algorithm evaluates over 4,300 stocks on a daily basis by 32 different data factors and assigns a unique buy, sell, or hold recommendation on each stock. Click here to learn more. NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Tumi Holdings has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from Hold to Buy with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: "We rate TUMI HOLDINGS INC (TUMI) a BUY. This is driven by multiple strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its growth in earnings per share, increase in net income, revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity." Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows: TUMI HOLDINGS INC has improved earnings per share by 12.9% 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, TUMI HOLDINGS INC increased its bottom line by earning $0.86 versus $0.81 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.96 versus $0.86). The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Textiles, Apparel & Luxury Goods industry average. The net income increased by 14.2% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $20.78 million to $23.72 million. Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 17.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 11.1%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share. TUMI 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 the favorable debt-to-equity ratio, the company maintains an adequate quick ratio of 1.23, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems. The gross profit margin for TUMI HOLDINGS INC is rather high; currently it is at 57.67%. Regardless of TUMI's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, TUMI's net profit margin of 14.47% compares favorably to the industry average. You can view the full analysis from the report here: TUMI Ratings Report

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of RigNet are down 4.3% to $28.69 in afternoon trading Wednesday after Oppenheimer decreased its price target to $40 from $55 while maintaining an "outperform" rating. "While management has an idea of how many offshore rigs may be decommissioned in the near term, they are uncertain as to the timing and there may be additional rigs," analysts said, adding that planned expense reductions appear minimal versus the revenue uncertainty. The network infrastructure company, that serves the remote communications needs of the oil and gas industry, posted lower-than expected revenue of $86.7 million for its fourth quarter of 2014, versus analysts estimates of $88.4 million. Exclusive Report: Jim Cramer's Best Stocks for 2015 Although the business is under pressure given lower rig counts, Oppenheimer still believes that broadband per rig demand remains strong, and that rig counts will eventually stabilize by the end of 2015. "Growing bandwidth demands/digitalization of new and efficient rigs helped drive average revenue per user (ARPU) by 33% year over year, which helped offset a decline in offshore rig count," Oppenheimer noted. Analysts estimate that RigNet gained approximately 160 bps of market share in its fourth quarter, and believe ARPU can continue to grow as older/less efficient rigs are likely to be cold stacked. Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates RIGNET INC as a Buy with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: "We rate RIGNET INC (RNET) a BUY. This is driven by several positive factors, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, good cash flow from operations and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself." Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows: RNET's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 14.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 54.5%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share. RIGNET 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, RIGNET INC increased its bottom line by earning $0.93 versus $0.70 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.08 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 Energy Equipment & Services industry. The net income increased by 149.6% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $2.35 million to $5.86 million. Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 229.50% to $19.38 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, RIGNET INC has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 3.92%. Despite currently having a low debt-to-equity ratio of 0.58, it is higher than that of the industry average, inferring that management of debt levels may need to be evaluated further. Despite the fact that RNET's debt-to-equity ratio is mixed in its results, the company's quick ratio of 2.33 is high and demonstrates strong liquidity. You can view the full analysis from the report here: RNET Ratings Report

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- TiVo shares are trading more than 6% higher Wednesday after the digital recording television services company reported a 30% increase in subscribers year-over-year for the period that ended Jan. 31. In further good news, net subscriber additions for the quarter reached 340,000, topping the 2013 4Q mark of 319,000. But does that mean the worst is over for TiVo? It does not. Investors are jumping for joy prematurely. Although the San Jose, Calif.-based company did exceed analysts' profit estimates, posting net income of $7.1 million, TiVo's revenue of $114.1 million still missed projections of $117.3 million by almost 3%. This means that although the company is gaining subscribers at a decent rate, it's still not moving ahead fast enough to meet long-term growth expectations, based on the company's business outlook. First-quarter profit projection of $5 million to $8 million -- while in line with estimates -- is not enough. TiVo must figure out ways to rely more on its own subscribers, and less on the ones it gets from cable companies like Time Warner Cable . During the quarter, subscriber additions from cable operators outpaced TiVo-owned subscriber adds by more than 20 times -- (324,000 vs. 16,000). And it's those TiVo-owned subscribers that most benefit the company, due to the higher margins and higher revenue per subscriber they generate. Meanwhile, with cable companies suffering from headwinds of their own, including cord-cutting and the new net neutrality rules, TiVo is left reliant for a huge percentage of its business on partners that are facing considerable uncertainty. TiVo has to show it can produce long-term profits, which is what investors buying the stock at today's trailing price-to-earnings ratio of 56, are betting on. Not only is TiVo's trailing earnings multiple less than one-third of the average P/E of companies in the S&P 500, it's also only in the neighborhood of half the average P/E of companies in the PowerShares Dynamic Media Portfolio -- media/entertainment giants like DirecTV and Disney and Time Warner Cable. Take a look at the chart. DTV data by YCharts TiVo's trailing P/E of 52 is more than twice that of all of those companies. And two of those three pay dividends. TiVo does not. But looking ahead to the next twelve months, TiVo's stock assumes it will outperform the profit projections of not just these three companies, but the entire S&P 500. On a forward-looking basis, its stock is carries a P/E of more than 46, compared to 14, 19 and 21 for DirecTV, Time Warner Cable and Disney, respectively. That's simply too much implied risk for investors to take, especially at a time when the company projects fiscal first-quarter service/tech revenue to be in the range of $90 million to $92 million, below estimates of $92.3 million. The best play for Tivo shareholders now is to sell into this rally and move on to other, less risky stocks. Must Read: How to Buy Penny Stocks (for Beginners)

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Beating earnings estimates isn't enough to keep a company's stock from falling this earnings season. And that puts specialty grocery store operator Fresh Market , whose CEO abruptly resigned in January, in a tough position ahead of Thursday's financial results, due out after market close. And short sellers have taken the CEO's resignation as a sign of bad things to come. Take a look at the table, courtesy of Nasdaq. After short interest -- a bearish sentiment meter -- of Fresh Market stock declined 14% in the three reporting periods between Dec. 15 and Jan. 15, shorts sellers have grown their positions 8% just in the last two reports. And more than 7% of that jump came after CEO Craig Carlock stepped down, which sent the stock plummeting more than 10%. Must Read: 5 Stocks Warren Buffett Is Selling And the shares have yet to recover. Take a look at the chart. TFM data by YCharts With shares down 7% so far in 2015 and down 3% over the past three months, investors are desperate for some good news. It just won't be the news they're looking for. And not to the extent it propels an already-expensive stock, that carries a price-to-earnings ratio of 41, any higher. Fresh Market trades at trailing P/E that is twice the average of companies in the S&P 500 index, which is a P/E of 21. This means despite the company's shares being down more than 14% in the past three years, expectations are still high. And the risk implied in the earnings growth expectations is heightened as the company is now under new leadership. And though Greensboro, N.C.-based Fresh Market has begun to add higher-margin products and services into its stores, including efforts to deliver fresh produced meats and prepared foods, these initiatives will come at a cost, which may impact near-term profit margins. Not to mention, other rising costs related to pre-opening of new stores, occupancy expenses and higher employee wages. Woking in its favor, Fresh Market does have a much easier profit mark to beat, given that its full-year 2013 profit declined more than 21%, according to CNN Money. Still, the stock's trailing P/E, which is also twice the average of companies in SPDR S&P Retail ETF , implies strong outperformance -- not merely beating its own comparable results. And with organic and natural produce retailers Sprouts Farmers Market and Whole Foods still growing their retail locations, Fresh Market may have a tough time competing. Not to mention, Whole Foods -- the market leader in the fresh and organic retail category -- trades at a P/E that is seven percentage points lower than Fresh Market. And it pays a dividend. And though the company may beat Thursday's earnings and revenue estimates of 51 cents and $483 million, respectively, there is still too much risk in owning Fresh Market stock. The limited upside value implied by its average price target of $39 -- from current levels of $38 -- is not worth it, especially when the short sellers are raising their bets. Must Read: Warren Buffett's Top 10 Dividend Stocks

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Orexigen Therapeutics are surging, up 12.83% to $8.62 on very heavy volume Wednesday afternoon, adding to gains from yesterday when it jumped about 50% in intraday trading on reports that the company's weight loss pill has heart-safety benefits, Bloomberg reported. This morning, analysts at Leerink raised their price target to $11 from $8, while maintaining an "outperform" rating. The firm said their specialists' opinions of Contrave improved significantly following Tuesday's data. Similarly, analysts at Piper Jaffray raised their price target yesterday to $26 from $16, and Bank of America/Merrill Lynch upped its price target to $13 from $10. Exclusive Report: Jim Cramer's Best Stocks for 2015 The drugmaker said its diet pill Contrave had cardiovascular benefits, according to its research data that was not meant to be released to the public, Bloomberg added. Orexigen said obese patients on Contrave lowered their risk of having a heart attack, stroke or dying from heart disease by almost half compared to patients on a placebo. The conclusions were based off of early data from Orexigen's study of 8,910 obese patients. About 34.06 million shares of Orexigen have exchanged hands as of 2:58 p.m. ET today, compared to its average trading volume of about 5.06 million shares a day. La Jolla, CA-based Orexigen is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of a pharmaceutical product and the development of a product candidate for the treatment of obesity. OREX data by YCharts

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of NeuStar were falling 16.1% to $21.08 on heavy trading volume Wednesday following a report that the communication services company may lose a telephone-numbers management contract in the U.S. The company may lose the contract due to a recommendation by the Federal Communications Commission, according to Bloomberg. The Wireline Competition Bureau recommended that the FCC vote to award the telephone-numbers management contract to Ericsson's Telcordia unit. Exclusive Report: Jim Cramer's Best Stocks for 2015 The five-year contract has the company managing more than 500 million phone numbers in the U.S., and involves helping consumers keep their phone number when they switch between mobile carriers. NeuStar held the contract since 1997, and its current contract is set to expire on June 30. The company earned more than $3 billion from the contract over that time, according to Bloomberg. In FCC filings, Telcordia said that competition for the contract may bring lower charges to mobile carriers which currently pay fees for porting number, which they can pass to consumers. NeuStar said that if it loses the contract the time to transfer numbers between carriers can increase to days from hours, an assertion that Telcordia rejected. About 6.4 million shares of NeuStar were traded by 2:57 p.m. Wednesday, above an average trading volume of about 807,000 shares a day. TheStreet Ratings team rates NEUSTAR INC as a Hold with a ratings score of C. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: "We rate NEUSTAR INC (NSR) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed -- some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, attractive valuation levels 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 higher debt management risk and disappointing return on equity." Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows: The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 19.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 6.2%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share. NEUSTAR INC has improved earnings per share by 39.0% 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. This trend suggests that the performance of the business is improving. During the past fiscal year, NEUSTAR INC increased its bottom line by earning $2.77 versus $2.47 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($4.35 versus $2.77). The gross profit margin for NEUSTAR INC is currently very high, coming in at 74.30%. 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 18.61% trails the industry average. The debt-to-equity ratio of 1.28 is relatively high when compared with the industry average, suggesting a need for better debt level management. Regardless of the company's weak debt-to-equity ratio, NSR has managed to keep a strong quick ratio of 2.42, which demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs. 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 other companies in the IT Services industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, NEUSTAR INC has underperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has greatly exceeded that of the S&P 500. You can view the full analysis from the report here: NSR Ratings Report

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Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of Jim Cramer, TheStreet, Inc., or any of its contributors. TheStreet Ratings quantitative algorithm evaluates over 4,300 stocks on a daily basis by 32 different data factors and assigns a unique buy, sell, or hold recommendation on each stock. Click here to learn more. NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Texas Capital Bancshares has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from Hold to Buy with a ratings score of B-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: "We rate TEXAS CAPITAL BANCSHARES INC (TCBI) a BUY. This is driven by a few notable strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, growth in earnings per share, increase in net income, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself." Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows: The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 4.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 15.4%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share. TEXAS CAPITAL BANCSHARES INC has improved earnings per share by 16.4% 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 year. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, TEXAS CAPITAL BANCSHARES INC increased its bottom line by earning $2.87 versus $2.73 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.98 versus $2.87). The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500 and greatly outperformed compared to the Commercial Banks industry average. The net income increased by 24.6% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $30.36 million to $37.83 million. The gross profit margin for TEXAS CAPITAL BANCSHARES INC is currently very high, coming in at 88.76%. Regardless of TCBI's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, TCBI's net profit margin of 25.38% significantly outperformed against the industry. Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 104.54% to $40.20 million when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow of 104.54%, TEXAS CAPITAL BANCSHARES INC is still growing at a significantly lower rate than the industry average of 308.31%. You can view the full analysis from the report here: TCBI Ratings Report

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Dick's Sporting Goods stock is down 0.25% to $55.86 on very heavy trading volume today after Barclays increased its price target to $54 from $50, while maintaining an "equal weight" rating. "Despite a relatively challenging promotional environment and less-than-supportive weather trends, Dick's was able to drive strong core comps of 6% in its fourth quarter of 2014, a sequential movement versus 4.6% in its third quarter," analysts said. Dick's has been trying to turn around weak demand for its Gold Galaxy division, since winter is traditionally a slow period for the category, according to the Wall Street Journal. Exclusive Report: Jim Cramer's Best Stocks for 2015"However, this represents a modest sequential improvement suggesting that the drop off in golf is not as pronounced as it was earlier in the year," analysts noted. Dick's expects earnings between $3.10 and $3.20 per share for its first quarter in 2015, consistent with Barclays' earnings estimate of $3.15 per share, and the consensus earnings estimate of $3.20 per share. "Specific levers behind management's initial conservatism include the effects of port delays, which is delaying the receipt of spring inventory, and late winter weather, which is reducing early spring demand," Barclays said, adding that Dick's business appears to be reasonably well positioned for 2015, excluding these external issues.Analysts still caution investors that non-golf/non-hunt businesses will need to continue to perform very well to drive significant comp acceleration in 2015. Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates DICKS SPORTING GOODS INC as a Buy with a ratings score of B+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: "We rate DICKS SPORTING GOODS INC (DKS) a BUY. This is driven by multiple strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, reasonable valuation levels, good cash flow from operations, growth in earnings per share and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income." Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows: Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 13.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 9.0%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share. Net operating cash flow has increased to -$49.46 million or 21.62% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, DICKS SPORTING GOODS INC has also modestly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 13.79%. DICKS SPORTING GOODS INC's earnings per share improvement from the most recent quarter was slightly positive. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, DICKS SPORTING GOODS INC increased its bottom line by earning $2.70 versus $2.31 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.80 versus $2.70). DKS's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.17 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 0.14 is very weak and demonstrates a lack of ability to pay short-term obligations. You can view the full analysis from the report here: DKS Ratings Report

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Chesapeake Energy shares are down 4.94% to $15.40 in trading on Wednesday as falling oil futures prices take their toll on the oil sector today.The natural gas and oil exploration company is falling as industry standard Brent crude prices for April delivery fall 1.39% to $60.17 per barrel. However, West Texas crude is gaining 0.53% to $50.79 today.Exclusive Report: Jim Cramer's Best Stocks for 2015Brent prices declined today after the U.S. Energy Information Administration released numbers showing that U.S. stockpiles of oil increased by 10.3 million barrels last week. The increase eclipsed analysts' two consensus estimates of a 3.7 million barrel rise and a 2.9 million-barrel rise.The fall in prices calls into question the sustainability of the recent oil prices rally as the glut of supply on the market that has caused oil prices to fall over 50% over the past seven months continues to put pressure on prices."The main question is whether oil prices have started to bottom out, or whether it is too soon to make this call. We believe the latter," industry watcher ABN Amro wrote in a report today. TheStreet Ratings team rates CHESAPEAKE ENERGY CORP as a Hold with a ratings score of C+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: "We rate CHESAPEAKE ENERGY CORP (CHK) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed - some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. 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 and compelling growth in net income. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including weak operating cash flow and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself." Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows: The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 18.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 11.2%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share. The debt-to-equity ratio is somewhat low, currently at 0.66, and is less than that of the industry average, implying that there has been a relatively successful effort in the management of debt levels. CHESAPEAKE 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 two years. However, we anticipate underperformance relative to this pattern in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, CHESAPEAKE ENERGY CORP increased its bottom line by earning $1.83 versus $0.68 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 80.0% in earnings ($0.37 versus $1.83). CHK'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 28.99%, 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. Net operating cash flow has decreased to $829.00 million or 21.27% when compared to the same quarter last year. In conjunction, when comparing current results to the industry average, CHESAPEAKE ENERGY CORP has marginally lower results. You can view the full analysis from the report here: CHK Ratings Report

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of McDermott International are rallying in afternoon trading today, higher by 1.05% to $3.37, as West Texas Intermediate crude rebounds. West Texas Intermediate erased earlier losses, moving higher by 1.82% to $51.44 at 2:26 p.m in New York. Brent fell 1.23% to $61.02. U.S. crude futures extended gains on Wednesday after the Fed said the economy continued to expand across most regions and sectors from early January through mid-February, with auto sales and consumer spending rising in most Fed districts, Reuters reports. Exclusive Report: Jim Cramer's Best Stocks for 2015 Oil prices started lower today on data that showed U.S. crude supplies hit another record high last week. U.S. crude stockpiles increased by 10.3 million barrels to 444.4 million barrels last week, the Energy Information Administration said. The increase is more than double the average of analysts' estimates for an increase of 4.6 million barrels, according to data collected by the Wall Street Journal. "The build is massive," Again Capital partner John Kilduff told the Journal. Separately, The Street's David Peltier recently wrote 'McDermott Posts Surprise Profit' on Stocks Under $10, in which he gave some insight into the company's latest earnings report issued yesterday. Here's a snippet of what he had to say: "McDermott International [closed up over 28% yesterday], after management delivered better-than-expected results overnight. This Alert is an update on the company and we're not recommending any trades for the model portfolio. McDermott had a surprise profit of $0.03 per share in the fourth quarter, as revenue increased 56% from the previous year, to $715.8 million. The company also saw operating income rise in each geographic segment. Looking to 2015, management expects sales of $3.3 billion to $3.6 billion, which is ahead of the previous consensus analyst estimate. The higher outlook includes several new project awards in the Middle East. McDermott also continues to cut costs and is projecting operating income of $25 million to $50 million in 2015. There were few surprises on the conference call and the company's finances remain stable, despite the recent decline in energy prices. We maintain our One rating on the stock, which is currently trading around $3.28." -David Peltier, 'McDermott Posts Surprise Profit' originally published 3/3/2015 on Stocks Under $10. McDermott International is a Houston-based engineering, procurement, construction and installation (EPCI) company focused on designing and executing complex offshore oil and gas projects worldwide. Separately, the average recommendation of 12 brokers' estimates on the stock is a 3, or a "hold," according to Reuters. The mean price target is $4.15. TheStreet Ratings team rates MCDERMOTT INTL INC as a Sell with a ratings score of D. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: "We rate MCDERMOTT INTL INC (MDR) a SELL. This is driven by a number of negative factors, which we believe should have a greater impact than any strengths, and could make it more difficult for investors to achieve positive results compared to most of the stocks we cover. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its disappointing return on equity, poor profit margins and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself." You can view the full analysis from the report here: MDR Ratings Report MDR data by YCharts Want more information like this from David Peltier BEFORE your stock moves? Learn more about Stocks Under $10 now.

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Financial stocks have a lot riding on them this year between lower oil prices, expected interest rate increases, the housing recovery and how additional regulation as a result of the financial crisis will continue to play out. Additionally, the financial sector is one of several directly affected by the increased market volatility in January 2015. The Financial Select Sector SPDR ETF is down slightly, about 1% this year.So what are some of the best investment ideas for financial stocks right now? Credit Suisse analysts put forth their best investment ideas in a variety of sub-sectors for the next six to 12 months, in a report issued Wednesday. Analysts were allowed to choose up to three stocks in their coverage area. The exercise resulted in a list of 140 top stock ideas -- 29 are what Credit Suisse calls small cap (under $4.1 billion), 56 are SMID (under $9.6 billion), and 81 are mid cap ($2-27.1 billion), the report said. The analysts came up with nine best financial stock ideas. TheStreet paired Credit Suisse's investment perspectives on the stocks with ratings from TheStreet Ratings, its proprietary research tool, to give an added perspective on the stock picks. TheStreet Ratings projects a stock's total return potential over a 12-month period including both price appreciation and dividends. Based on 32 major data points, TheStreet Ratings uses a quantitative approach to rating over 4,300 stocks to predict return potential for the next year. The model is both objective, using elements such as volatility of past operating revenues, financial strength, and company cash flows, and subjective, including expected equities market returns, future interest rates, implied industry outlook and forecasted company earnings. Buying an S&P 500 stock that TheStreet Ratings rated a "buy" yielded a 16.56% return in 2014 beating the S&P 500 Total Return Index by 304 basis points. Buying a Russell 2000 stock that TheStreet Ratings rated a "buy" yielded a 9.5% return in 2014, beating the Russell 2000 index, including dividends reinvested, by 460 basis points last year. Here are Credit Suisse's top picks for the overall financials sector. And when you're done make sure to check out Credit Suisse's top tech stocks to buy. Year-to-date returns are based on March 3, 2015 closing prices. AMG data by YCharts 1.Affiliated Managers Group Inc. AMG Sub-industry: Asset Managers Market Cap: $12 billion Target Price: $284 Year-to-date return: 2.3% Credit Suisse's Craig Siegenthaler said: We expect AMG's high organic growth rate (net flows) and accretive acquisitions (~2-3 over the next year) to drive positive EPS revisions and continued valuation expansion as investors become more comfortable with AMG's growth rate. AMG is best positioned for the rotation back into equities, with ~90% of its AuM in active equities and alternatives. AMG's strong net flows have benefited from its expansion internationally, as it has leveraged its high fund performance to attract investors outside the US. TheStreet Ratings said: TheStreet Ratings team rates AFFILIATED MANAGERS GRP INC as a Buy with a ratings score of A. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: "We rate AFFILIATED MANAGERS GRP INC (AMG) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company is trading at a premium valuation based on our review of its current price compared to such things as earnings and book value." Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows: The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 12.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 7.9%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share. The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Capital Markets industry and the overall market, AFFILIATED MANAGERS GRP INC's return on equity exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500. AFFILIATED MANAGERS GRP INC has improved earnings per share by 8.2% 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, AFFILIATED MANAGERS GRP INC increased its bottom line by earning $7.99 versus $6.49 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($13.75 versus $7.99). The gross profit margin for AFFILIATED MANAGERS GRP INC is rather high; currently it is at 57.28%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 26.93% is above that of the industry average. Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 72.69% to $361.80 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, AFFILIATED MANAGERS GRP INC has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -6.01%. You can view the full analysis from the report here: AMG Ratings Report Must Read: Credit Suisse: 6 Best Tech Stocks to Add to Your Portfolio Right Now WFC data by YCharts 2. Wells Fargo & Co. Sub-industry: Banks-Large Cap Market Cap: $286 billion Target Price: $65 Year-to-date return: 1.2% Credit Suisse's Susan Katzke said: You Get What You Pay For. In our view, the premium on WFC shares is warranted by virtue of the consistency and quality of Wells Fargo's earnings growth and returns. Such consistency reflects the benefit of diversification (by business and by geography) married with a strong sales culture, risk management and reinvestment discipline. Together, these factors drive sustained growth, above average ROEs and lower revenue and earnings volatility. Near term, with lower long term interest rates, prospects for a pickup in mortgage production improve earnings visibility. TheStreet Ratings said: TheStreet Ratings team rates WELLS FARGO & CO as a Buy with a ratings score of A. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: "We rate WELLS FARGO & CO (WFC) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share, expanding profit margins and increase in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow." Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows: WFC's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 4.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 3.4%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share. The stock has not only risen over the past year, it has done so at a faster pace than the S&P 500, reflecting the earnings growth and other positive factors similar to those we have cited here. 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. WELLS FARGO & CO's earnings per share improvement from the most recent quarter was slightly positive. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, WELLS FARGO & CO increased its bottom line by earning $4.10 versus $3.89 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($4.18 versus $4.10). The gross profit margin for WELLS FARGO & CO is currently very high, coming in at 93.37%. Regardless of WFC's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, WFC's net profit margin of 25.43% significantly outperformed against the industry. The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the Commercial Banks industry average, but is less than that of the S&P 500. The net income increased by 1.8% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $5,610.00 million to $5,709.00 million. You can view the full analysis from the report here: WFC Ratings Report KEY data by YCharts 3. KeyCorp Sub-industry: Banks-Mid Cap Market Cap: $12 billion Target Price: $16 Year-to-date return: 0.72% Credit Suisse's Jill Shea said: The story for 2015 will center on the company's ability to generate positive operating leverage with further efficiencies. Without heroic forecasts for the near term outlook including a combination of low-single-digit revenue growth, relatively flat expenses growth, and a 4% decline in the average share count, we forecast 5% growth in operating EPS with confidence in the achievability of the forecast. The capital return story remains strong, and we forecast a return of 82% of capital to shareholders in the form of dividends and buybacks for full-year 2015. TheStreet Ratings said: TheStreet Ratings team rates KEYCORP as a Buy with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: "We rate KEYCORP (KEY) a BUY. This is driven by a number of strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, growth in earnings per share, increase in net income, expanding profit margins and increase in stock price during the past year. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook." Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows: KEY's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 4.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 3.1%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share. KEYCORP has improved earnings per share by 7.7% 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, KEYCORP increased its bottom line by earning $1.04 versus $0.93 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.10 versus $1.04). The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the Commercial Banks industry average, but is less than that of the S&P 500. The net income increased by 10.0% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $230.00 million to $253.00 million. The gross profit margin for KEYCORP is currently very high, coming in at 92.43%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 22.27% is above that of the industry average. The stock price has risen over the past year, but, despite its earnings growth and some other positive factors, it has underperformed the S&P 500 so far. Looking ahead, unless broad bear market conditions prevail, we still see more upside potential for this stock, despite the fact that it has already risen over the past year. You can view the full analysis from the report here: KEY Ratings Report Must Read: 6 Health Care Stocks John Paulson Is Betting On for 2015 SCHW data by YCharts 4. Charles Schwab Corp. Sub-industry: Brokers, Exchanges & Alternative Asset Managers Market Cap: $39.6 billion Target Price: $32 Year-to-date return: 0.79% Credit Suisse's Christian Bolu said: Charles Schwab is a leading provider of advice-driven and self-directed financial services to the individual investor and independent investment advisors. We like the Schwab asset gathering story and see the shares as one of the better places to invest given significant macro & company specific catalyst. Macro catalyst: We expect earnings power to more than double form current levels as short term rates rise. Company specific catalyst: Schwab can more optimally monetize ~$75 Billion of client cash balances by growing its affiliated bank, this should drive ~20-30% earnings accretion over the next 2-3 years even if interest rates remain at current levels. TheStreet Ratings said: TheStreet Ratings team rates SCHWAB (CHARLES) CORP as a Buy with a ratings score of A-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: "We rate SCHWAB (CHARLES) CORP (SCHW) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, growth in earnings per share, good cash flow from operations, increase in stock price during the past year and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company is trading at a premium valuation based on our review of its current price compared to such things as earnings and book value." Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows: The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 12.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 6.2%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share. SCHWAB (CHARLES) CORP has improved earnings per share by 8.7% 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, SCHWAB (CHARLES) CORP increased its bottom line by earning $0.96 versus $0.78 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.10 versus $0.96). Net operating cash flow has slightly increased to $860.00 million or 3.48% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, SCHWAB (CHARLES) CORP has also modestly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -6.01%. The stock has risen over the past year as investors have generally rewarded the company for its earnings growth and other positive factors like the ones we have cited in this report. Looking ahead, the stock's rise over the last year has already helped drive it to a level which is relatively expensive compared to the rest of its industry. We feel, however, that the other strengths this company displays justify these higher price levels. 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 on the basis of return on equity, SCHWAB (CHARLES) CORP has outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500. You can view the full analysis from the report here: SCHW Ratings Report VOYA data by YCharts 5. Voya Financial Sub-industry: Life Insurance Market Cap: $10.7 billion Target Price: $53 Year-to-date return: 4% Credit Suisse's Tom Gallagher said: We continue to see VOYA shares offering the most attractive risk/reward driven by: 1. A multi-year outsized capital return vs. peers, 2. Relatively stable operating trends, 3. A likely release of a large portion of its DTA valuation allowance ($1.6b released and we see more to come) combined with a lower effective tax-rate, and 4. The end of the ING sell down of its remaining stake in the company (either 1 or 2 more deals left, currently at 19%). While the VOYA's core operations face some challenges in terms of life mortality and 401k spreads, we still see plenty of cushion in the valuation to provide attractive risk/reward considering the free cash flow characteristics of its open block business and the visibility around capital return. TheStreet Ratings said: TheStreet Ratings team rates VOYA FINANCIAL INC as a Hold with a ratings score of C. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: "We rate VOYA FINANCIAL INC (VOYA) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed - some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, compelling growth in net income and revenue growth. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the growth in the company's earnings per share has not been good." Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows: 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. 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. The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Diversified Financial Services industry. The net income increased by 154.4% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $548.10 million to $1,394.50 million. Current return on equity exceeded its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of strength within the company. Compared to other companies in the Diversified Financial Services industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, VOYA FINANCIAL INC has outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500. VOYA FINANCIAL 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. However, we anticipate underperformance relative to this pattern in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, VOYA FINANCIAL INC increased its bottom line by earning $9.18 versus $2.27 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 63.8% in earnings ($3.33 versus $9.18). You can view the full analysis from the report here: VOYA Ratings Report Must Read: Bank of America's 10 Top S&P 500 Stocks to Buy for 2015 PMT data by YCharts 6. PennyMac Mortgage Investment Trust Sub-industry: Mortgage REITS Market Cap: $1.6 billion Target Price: $24 Year-to-date return: -0.19% Credit Suisse's Doug Harter said: The continued growth of MSRs (and excess servicing spreads) combined with the growth potential for jumbo securitization should allow PMT to more than offset the run-off of the NPL book, if incremental returns do not improve enough to pursue new investments. As PMT demonstrates this ability to replace the NPL run-off and maintain its current earnings power we expect the valuation to improve from the current 1% premium to book value. We also see upside to that book value from the re-performing loans as they continue to season and develop longer pay histories. In addition to the upside potential for the stock the total return outlook is supported by the current 11% dividend yield. TheStreet Ratings said: TheStreet Ratings team rates PENNYMAC MORTGAGE INVEST TR as a Hold with a ratings score of C+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: "We rate PENNYMAC MORTGAGE INVEST TR (PMT) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed - some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its attractive valuation levels and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself." Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows: 45.17% is the gross profit margin for PENNYMAC MORTGAGE INVEST TR 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, PMT's net profit margin of 35.35% compares favorably to the industry average. The revenue fell significantly faster than the industry average of 3.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 35.6%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share. 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 Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 49.7% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $52.70 million to $26.51 million. 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. When compared to other companies in the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry and the overall market, PENNYMAC MORTGAGE INVEST TR's return on equity is below that of both the industry average and the S&P 500. You can view the full analysis from the report here: PMT Ratings Report BXP data by YCharts 7. Boston Properties Sub-industry: REITS Market Cap: $21.3 billion Target Price: $158 Year-to-date return: 7.8% Credit Suisse's Ian Weissman and George Auerbach said: We are keeping Boston Properties (BXP) on our Top Pick list. We like BXP because of the company's $2 billion development pipeline, which has an average 7.5% yield-on-cost and is $4.20/share NAV accretive. Also, the company's portfolio is unrivaled in terms of quality and location, while its management team has consistently proven its ability to successful allocate capital. TheStreet Ratings said: TheStreet Ratings team rates BOSTON PROPERTIES INC as a Buy with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: "We rate BOSTON PROPERTIES INC (BXP) a BUY. This is driven by multiple strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance, increase in net income and reasonable valuation levels. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity." Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows: BXP's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 3.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 6.3%. 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 net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry. The net income increased by 93.9% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $91.37 million to $177.16 million. BOSTON PROPERTIES 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. We feel it is likely to report a decline in earnings in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, BOSTON PROPERTIES INC reported lower earnings of $2.82 versus $4.02 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 29.6% in earnings ($1.99 versus $2.82). You can view the full analysis from the report here: BXP Ratings Report Must Read: 9 Must-Own Materials Stocks to Add to Your Portfolio Right Now DFS data by YCharts 8. Discover Financial Services Sub-industry: Specialty Finance Market Cap: $27 billion Target Price: $71 Year-to-date return: -8.5% Credit Suisse's Moshe Orenbuch said: We believe that Discover represents the best combination of strong operating fundamentals and valuation among the large card issuers. The company is returning the vast majority of earnings, and appears to be positioning the network to be a source of value to shareholders. TheStreet Ratings said: TheStreet Ratings team rates DISCOVER FINANCIAL SVCS INC as a Buy with a ratings score of B-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: "We rate DISCOVER FINANCIAL SVCS INC (DFS) a BUY. This is driven by multiple strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in stock price during the past year and reasonable valuation levels. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income." Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows: Compared to where it was 12 months ago, the stock is up, but it has so far lagged the appreciation in the S&P 500. 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. Regardless of the drop in revenue, the company managed to outperform against the industry average of 7.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 2.6%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share. DISCOVER FINANCIAL SVCS INC's earnings per share declined by 29.3% 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, DISCOVER FINANCIAL SVCS INC reported lower earnings of $4.90 versus $4.96 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($5.36 versus $4.90). 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 Consumer Finance industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, DISCOVER FINANCIAL SVCS INC has underperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has exceeded that of the S&P 500. You can view the full analysis from the report here: DFS Ratings Report LAZ data by YCharts 9. Lazard Sub-industry: Trust Banks, M&A Advisors & Market Technology Market Cap: $6.7 billion Target Price: $59 Year-to-date return: 1.8% Credit Suisse's Ashley Serrao said: We remain Outperform rated. We view Lazard as a long-term market share gainer across both its asset management and financial advisory franchises; while there will be choppiness around emerging markets, institutional investors remain under-allocated and we believe the longer-term secular story is intact. With respect to the latter, Lazard has the strongest backlog among peers, and we see as the best way to play the ongoing shift towards independent advisors. We also like the robust return of capital to with further optionality to right-size the balance sheet over time (late 2015/early 2016). TheStreet Ratings said: TheStreet Ratings team rates LAZARD LTD as a Buy with a ratings score of A. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: "We rate LAZARD LTD (LAZ) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity, solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth and compelling growth in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins." Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows: The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 12.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 3.0%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share. The company's current return on equity greatly increased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of significant strength within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Capital Markets industry and the overall market, LAZARD LTD's return on equity significantly exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500. Compared to where it was a year ago today, the stock is now trading at a higher level, reflecting both the market's overall trend during that period and the fact that the company's earnings growth has been robust. Looking ahead, unless broad bear market conditions prevail, we still see more upside potential for this stock, despite the fact that it has already risen over the past year. LAZARD LTD 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, LAZARD LTD increased its bottom line by earning $3.21 versus $1.21 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($3.51 versus $3.21). The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Capital Markets industry. The net income increased by 223.9% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $53.22 million to $172.38 million. You can view the full analysis from the report here: LAZ Ratings Report Must Read: Credit Suisse's Top 5 Chemicals Stocks to Buy in 2015 to Beat the Market

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Costco Wholesale , the largest U.S. warehouse retailer, seems to never get cheap. This suggests that its investors are not as price-sensitive as consumers who shop at its stores. But the one thing both camps have in common are that they seem to appreciate value. And that's something Costco, which reports earnings results Thursday, knows how to create. Costco shares are up more than 7% in 2015, besting both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Standard & Poor's 500 Index, which have gained just 2% each. Equally impressive, shares of Issaquah, Wash.-based Costco have also outperformed the 2.7% gains in the SPDR S&P Retail ETF . And that's where investors might begin to worry. The latter houses more than 100 retail companies in its fund, including the likes of Amazon , Kroger and Wal-Mart . All told, these retailers have an average trailing price-to-earnings ratio of 22, which is in line with the S&P 500, compared with a trailing P/E of 30 for Costco. That would indicate Costco's shares are expensive. What's more important to consider, however, is the word "expensive" doesn't prevent the stock price from going higher. And like the old consumer axiom, "You get what you pay for," investors have consistently gained from Costco's above-average price. Take a look at the chart. COST 10-Year Total Returns (Daily) data by YCharts In the last 10 years, five years and three years, Costco investors have received stock gains of 305%, 181% and 95%, respectively. And each have exceeded the respective gains of both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 during those periods. Investors are also paying for Costco's ability to return value to investors, based on its trailing return-on-equity of 18%. Take a look at the chart. COST Return on Equity (TTM) data by YCharts Return on equity explains how well a company's management team performs. This is because it tells investors how the business is using invested capital to increase shareholder value. In this case, Costco's ability to generate wealth for its shareholders exceeds that of several prominent retailers in the SPDR S&P Retail ETF, which has produced an average return on equity of 15%. Couple that with its five-year stock performance of 23%, compared with 181% for Costco, it's the investors who focus solely on price -- and not value -- who have missed out. For the quarter ended February, analysts expect earnings to climb 12% from last year, reaching $1.18 a share, while revenue is projected to be $27.7 billion, up more than 5% from a year earlier. With U.S. retail sales up 3.3% from last year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, Costco, whose earnings are projected to increase by more than 10% annually during the next five year, should benefit. Coupled with the stock's consensus buy rating and annual dividend of $1.42 a share, the shares are never cheap for a reason. Current shareholders love it that way. Must Read: Shale Oil Bust Enters Phase Two, Led by Hercules and SandRidge

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Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of Jim Cramer, TheStreet, Inc., or any of its contributors. TheStreet Ratings quantitative algorithm evaluates over 4,300 stocks on a daily basis by 32 different data factors and assigns a unique buy, sell, or hold recommendation on each stock. Click here to learn more. NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stratasys has been downgraded by TheStreet Ratings from Hold to Sell with a ratings score of D+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: "We rate STRATASYS LTD (SSYS) a SELL. This is driven by a number of negative factors, which we believe should have a greater impact than any strengths, and could make it more difficult for investors to achieve positive results compared to most of the stocks we cover. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity, generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself and feeble growth in its earnings per share." Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows: 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 Computers & Peripherals industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 4518.8% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from -$1.99 million to -$92.01 million. 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 Computers & Peripherals industry and the overall market, STRATASYS LTD's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500. Despite any intermediate fluctuations, we have only bad news to report on this stock's performance over the last year: it has tumbled by 50.53%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 2485.71% 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. STRATASYS LTD has experienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from the same quarter a year ago. The company has reported a trend of declining earnings per share over the past two years. However, the consensus estimate suggests that this trend should reverse in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, STRATASYS LTD reported poor results of -$2.35 versus -$0.70 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.13 versus -$2.35). 48.92% is the gross profit margin for STRATASYS 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, SSYS's net profit margin of -42.37% significantly underperformed when compared to the industry average. You can view the full analysis from the report here: SSYS Ratings Report

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Volatility is back, as seen by the slight S&P 500 decline Wednesday after cutting losses in half from earlier lows. Volatility's return is "the most important thing to remember," Joseph Terranova, senior managing director for Virtus Investment Partners, said on CNBC's "Fast Money Halftime." Terranova noted the yield on 10-year Treasury notes are higher on the day despite many of the world's central banks cutting interest rates. This could be a sign the U.S. Federal Reserve will raise interest rates sooner than previously anticipated. If that's the case financial stocks will do well, as they are doing well ahead of the latest round of stress tests, formally known as the Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review. Results come out next Wednesday, he said. Pete Najarian, co-founder of optionmonster.com and trademonster.com, likes financial stocks, too, thinking a rate hike is coming this year plus the low valuations on the stocks. His sector picks are JPMorgan Chase , Bank of America and Citigroup . For European exposure, he likes Deutsche Bank . For a clue on how European stocks will perform, just look at Japanese equities, said Paul Richards, head of rates, credit and FX at UBS. Japan devalued its currency by 20% and stocks rallied. As the yen continues to weaken, stocks continue to go higher. The euro has now fallen 20% and stocks are moving higher and the trend is likely to continue. The same thing in the U.S. has already happened but won't continue because the Fed's quantitative easing program is finished. European Central Bank President Mario Draghi will likely give a positive forecast for a stronger economy and lower inflation at the upcoming ECB meeting, which will likely result in a market rally, Richards said. Investors should have exposure to Europe, said Jon Najarian, co-founder of optionmonster.com and trademonster.com, but he suggests keeping a "vast majority" of assets in the U.S. because there is more liquidity. Richards agreed investors should maintain a diversified portfolio but said currency woes can weigh on results from foreign investments unless they are properly hedged. West Texas Intermediate prices also are volatile Wednesday. The weekly inventory report showed a larger-than-expected build in supply, said Paul Sankey, oil and gas analyst at Wolfe Research. He thinks oil prices can continue lower. Sankey reasoned that because so many investors are willing to buy crude and store it, there will eventually be a large buildup in storage and, thus, even more supply. U.S. production hasn't slowed enough, he said. When production is combined with all of the additional crude that is being stored, it will likely weigh on prices. Exxon Mobil showed uncertainty and a somewhat bearish outlook during its analyst day, Sankey added. But he does like some energy stocks on the long side including EOG Resources , Anadarko Petroleum , Hess HES, and Devon Energy . If investors think oil is eventually going back to $75 per barrel or higher, they should take the "Buffett approach," Terranova said. In others words, investors should buy energy stocks now and add a little at a time to take advantage of the eventual move higher. Jon Najarian said to buy energy stocks on dips. For their final trades, Pete Najarian is buying Johnson & Johnson , Terranova is a buyer of Express Scripts and Jon Najarian said to buy Energy XXI Limited . Must Read: Dividend Preview: 5 Big Stocks That Want to Pay You More in 2015 -- Written by Bret Kenwell

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Earlier today the Chief Financial Officer of CSX Corp. , Fredrik Eliasson, announced that the company is expecting at least a 5% decline in it's domestic coal shipments this year.The company also updated its first quarter market outlook and discussed earnings expectations for 2015. The announcement came ahead of it's appearance at the JPMorgan Aviation, Transportation & Industrials conference in New York City. In this morning's statement the transportation supplier said its expected coal shipment's decline is reflecting what CSX calls a "relatively mild winter" and lower natural gas prices.Exclusive Report: Jim Cramer's Best Stocks for 2015 With oil prices remaining down the company is expecting growth in crude shipments to be more moderate than it originally anticipated. CSX believes that it will be able to meet its growth targets as it continues to expand in its merchandise and intermodal markets, adding that it will be more difficult to do so as a result of the expected drop in the company's coal movements. "We continue to expect strong earnings growth in the first quarter as merchandise and intermodal customers see growth opportunities and recognize the value and efficiency of freight rail service. By leveraging price and efficiency gains combined with expected volume increases, we continue to target double-digit earnings growth for the full-year 2015," Eliasson's statement said. Shares of CSX are up by 0.21% to $34.19 in mid-afternoon trading on Wednesday. Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates CSX CORP as a Buy with a ratings score of A-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: "We rate CSX CORP (CSX) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share, revenue growth, reasonable valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity." Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows: Investors have apparently begun to recognize positive factors similar to those we have mentioned in this report, including earnings growth. This has helped drive up the company's shares by a sharp 26.09% 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, CSX should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year. CSX CORP has improved earnings per share by 16.7% 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, CSX CORP increased its bottom line by earning $1.93 versus $1.83 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.15 versus $1.93). Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 14.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 5.3%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share. Net operating cash flow has increased to $1,041.00 million or 35.54% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of 7.56%. You can view the full analysis from the report here: CSX Ratings Report

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Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of Jim Cramer, TheStreet, Inc., or any of its contributors. TheStreet Ratings quantitative algorithm evaluates over 4,300 stocks on a daily basis by 32 different data factors and assigns a unique buy, sell, or hold recommendation on each stock. Click here to learn more. NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- OM Group has been downgraded by TheStreet Ratings from Buy to Hold with a ratings score of C. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: "We rate OM GROUP INC (OMG) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed, some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. 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 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." Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows: 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. OMG's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.01 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 1.00, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems. OMG, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 4.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 9.2%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share. 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 Chemicals industry and the overall market, OM GROUP INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500. The gross profit margin for OM GROUP INC is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 26.80%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of -76.98% is significantly below that of the industry average. You can view the full analysis from the report here: OMG Ratings Report

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Exxon Mobil are down 0.45% to $87.23 in afternoon trading Wednesday, as the company announced it will lower capital spending to about $34 billion in 2015, which is down 12% from 2014. Exxon Mobil said annual capital and exploration expenditures are expected to average less than $34 billion in 2016 and 2017, as it starts up 16 major oil and natural gas projects during the next three years. The cut in capex follows years of high spending when companies competed for access to drill rigs and contractors in places like Papua New Guinea, according to the Wall Street Journal. Exclusive Report: Jim Cramer's Best Stocks for 2015 Still, Exxon Mobil expects to increase production volumes in 2015 by 2% to 4.1 million oil equivalent barrels per day. The company is set to increase daily production to 4.3 million oil equivalent barrels by 2017. Irving, TX-based ExxonMobil is the largest publicly traded international oil and gas company, that holds an industry-leading inventory of resources. The company is the largest refiner and marketer of petroleum products. Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates EXXON MOBIL CORP as a Buy with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: "We rate EXXON MOBIL CORP (XOM) a BUY. This is driven by multiple strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strongest point has been its strong cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself." Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows: Regardless of the drop in revenue, the company managed to outperform against the industry average of 18.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 17.9%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share. The change in net income from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry average, but is less than that of the S&P 500. The net income has decreased by 21.3% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, dropping from $8,350.00 million to $6,570.00 million. EXXON MOBIL CORP's earnings per share declined by 18.3% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. We feel it is likely to report a decline in earnings in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, EXXON MOBIL CORP increased its bottom line by earning $7.60 versus $7.37 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 53.6% in earnings ($3.53 versus $7.60). Reflecting the weaknesses we have cited, including the decline in the company's earnings per share, XOM has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 7.46% from its price level of one year ago. Looking ahead, although the push and pull of the overall market trend could certainly make a critical difference, we do not see any strong reason stemming from the company's fundamentals that would cause a continuation of last year's decline. In fact, the stock is now selling for less than others in its industry in relation to its current earnings. Net operating cash flow has decreased to $7,499.00 million or 26.53% 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. You can view the full analysis from the report here: XOM Ratings Report

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Target shares are experiencing volatility in trading on Wednesday after the company announced plans to cut several thousands of jobs as part of a plan to slash $2 billion in costs over the next two years.The company's stock price has hovered around its $78 opening price after the company announced the latest step in its plan to gain back some of the momentum lost by its overseas missteps and 2013's data breach scandal.Exclusive Report: Jim Cramer's Best Stocks for 2015Target held its analyst day yesterday where it revealed plans to cut jobs mainly from its corporate headquarters in the Minneapolis area and in India, and not from its 1,800 stores across the country.TheStreet's Jim Cramer expressed optimism about the company's strategy in an Action Alerts Plus blog post yesterday where he lauded CEO Brian Cornell's leadership and expressed optimism in the company's strategy."Under the stewardship of Cornell, Target has emerged as a more agile, more efficient, and more focused company. This point cannot be overstated. As seen in his decision to quickly exit Canada, we believe Cornell has the rare executive tendency to act swiftly and purposefully. We expect this to be a hallmark of his tenure, and believe the strategy he unveiled today is consistent with such an attitude," wrote Cramer."To that end, following Target's comprehensive strategic review, management believes it now has a very clear understanding of its shopper, which has increasingly become families (a growing percentage of which are Hispanic) that are digitally connected and value conscious. In fact, Cornell revealed that guests who shop both in-store and through the digital channel drive 3x more traffic, 3x more business, and 2.8x in-store spend as guests who shop exclusively in-store," he continued. TheStreet Ratings team rates TARGET CORP as a Buy with a ratings score of A-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: "We rate TARGET CORP (TGT) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, revenue growth, attractive valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income." Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows: Powered by its strong earnings growth of 83.95% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 27.12% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. Turning to the future, naturally, any stock can fall in a major bear market. However, in almost any other environment, the stock should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed nice gains in the past year. TARGET 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. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, TARGET CORP increased its bottom line by earning $3.84 versus $3.07 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($4.52 versus $3.84). Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 3.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 1.1%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share. Net operating cash flow has increased to $2,389.00 million or 35.20% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, TARGET CORP has also modestly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 27.82%. You can view the full analysis from the report here: TGT Ratings Report

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Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of Jim Cramer, TheStreet, Inc., or any of its contributors. TheStreet Ratings quantitative algorithm evaluates over 4,300 stocks on a daily basis by 32 different data factors and assigns a unique buy, sell, or hold recommendation on each stock. Click here to learn more. NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- OceanFirst Financial has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from Hold to Buy with a ratings score of B+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: "We rate OCEANFIRST FINANCIAL CORP (OCFC) a BUY. This is driven by a few notable strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, 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 analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows: OCFC's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 5.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 1.8%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share. OCEANFIRST FINANCIAL 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 two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, OCEANFIRST FINANCIAL CORP increased its bottom line by earning $1.19 versus $0.95 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.30 versus $1.19). The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Thrifts & Mortgage Finance industry. The net income increased by 154.5% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $1.94 million to $4.93 million. The gross profit margin for OCEANFIRST FINANCIAL CORP is currently very high, coming in at 88.38%. Regardless of OCFC'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 19.97% trails the industry average. 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. When compared to other companies in the Thrifts & Mortgage Finance industry and the overall market, OCEANFIRST FINANCIAL CORP's return on equity is below that of both the industry average and the S&P 500. You can view the full analysis from the report here: OCFC Ratings Report

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of SanDisk were gaining 4.5% to $82.61 on Wednesday following the memory maker's recent flash storage and array and mobile storage announcements. On Tuesday, SanDisk announced a new a new all-flash storage platform for the IT industry called InfiniFlash. The new SanDisk InfiniFlash storage system consists of up to 64 specially-designed, hot-swappable cards that each have 8TB (terabytes) of storage capacity for a total of 512TB, or half a petabyte, in a 3-rack-unit enclosure. The InfiniFlash storage system can connect to up to eight off-the-shelf servers, and uses open source software to offer "extreme performance, and superior reliability to big data and hyperscale workloads," according to SanDisk. Exclusive Report: Jim Cramer's Best Stocks for 2015 "Building on our long history of industry-defining innovation, we are very excited to bring our first all flash array storage system to market in the form of a category-defining product that we expect will drive flash into big-data workloads at massive scale," Executive VP and Chief Strategy Officer Sumit Sadana said in a statement. Earlier in the week at the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona, SanDisk announced a new microSD card that can hold a record-breaking 200GB of data, which can more than double the storage capacity of most mobile devices. The company also announced a new NAND flash module for smartphones and tablets that can support transfer speeds of up to 1Gbps. TheStreet Ratings team rates SANDISK CORP as a Buy with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: "We rate SANDISK CORP (SNDK) a BUY. This is driven by several positive factors, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity, expanding profit margins and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income." Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows: The revenue growth significantly trails the industry average of 30.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 0.4%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share. The 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 Computers & Peripherals industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, SANDISK CORP has underperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has exceeded that of the S&P 500. 48.54% is the gross profit margin for SANDISK CORP which we consider to be strong. Regardless of SNDK's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, SNDK's net profit margin of 11.63% is significantly lower than the industry average. Despite currently having a low debt-to-equity ratio of 0.31, it is higher than that of the industry average, inferring that management of debt levels may need to be evaluated further. Regardless of the somewhat mixed results with the debt-to-equity ratio, the company's quick ratio of 1.50 is sturdy. SANDISK CORP's earnings per share declined by 40.7% 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, SANDISK CORP reported lower earnings of $4.23 versus $4.37 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($5.28 versus $4.23). You can view the full analysis from the report here: SNDK Ratings Report

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Alibaba is entering the U.S. cloud market, putting it in direct competition with many of the world's most powerful tech companies for a share of computing services in the world's largest economy. On Wednesday, Alibaba's cloud division Aliyun launched its first U.S. cloud center in Silicon Valley, betting that it has what it takes to compete for clients against IBM , Google , Microsoft , Salesforce , Rackspace . Cloud services allow companies to outsource their data centers, freeing them from the obligation to host software and applications in-house. Cloud stores that data remotely, providing access through the Internet. According to research firm IDC, the public cloud services market could grow into a $100 billion industry by 2017, so there is a lot at stake for the tech giants vying for a share of the market. Amazon Web Services is another provider that Alibaba will likely challenge. Next quarter, for the first time, Amazon plans to make known its sales from AWS. Baird Equity Research projects AWS's standalone value to be as high as $50 billion while the unit is projected to generate more than $8 billion in sales in 2015. Alibaba has said that it will start by targeting Chinese companies with U.S. operations, so that will be an easier start, since these companies already know and trust Alibaba. Plus, there may be some national pride that helps them there.The question is whether or not Alibaba can ever convince American companies to choose them over AWS or any of the other cloud services. "For the time being, we are just testing the water," Sicheng Yu, Aliyun vice president and head of its international business, said on Alizila, Alibaba's news site. "We know well what Chinese clients need, and now it's time for us to learn what U.S. clients need. The market is quite crowded in the U.S. but we offer some unique value and there's room for us." Alibaba declined to comment beyond the press release and Alizila article. Erik Gordon, a professor at the University of Michigan, doubts Alibaba will have much success with U.S. or European companies, though he does see them doing better in other parts of the world that don't already have numerous cloud providers. "I think they face a lot of problems in the U.S., not just that Amazon is huge," he said. "In the U.S., nobody trusts them, many fear them. They are seen as the beneficiary of unfair competition in China where the government has favored them and made life difficult for Google and Amazon." So yes, Alibaba may sign on a few Chinese companies, but expanding to American companies will likely be a tough challenge. "It's one thing to run your cloud services computers in small countries that don't have players like Amazon or Google," Gordon said. "It's another thing to show that you can compete in the U.S. against the biggest and the best." Must Read: 10 Stocks Carl Icahn Loves for 2015: Apple, eBay, Hertz and More

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Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of Jim Cramer, TheStreet, Inc., or any of its contributors. TheStreet Ratings quantitative algorithm evaluates over 4,300 stocks on a daily basis by 32 different data factors and assigns a unique buy, sell, or hold recommendation on each stock. Click here to learn more. NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Nabors Industries Ltd has been downgraded by TheStreet Ratings from Hold to Sell with a ratings score of D+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: "We rate NABORS INDUSTRIES LTD (NBR) a SELL. This is driven by several weaknesses, which we believe should have a greater impact than any strengths, and could make it more difficult for investors to achieve positive results compared to most of the stocks we cover. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity, poor profit margins, generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself and feeble growth in its earnings per share." Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows: 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 Energy Equipment & Services industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 688.7% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $151.35 million to -$891.07 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 Energy Equipment & Services industry and the overall market, NABORS INDUSTRIES LTD's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500. The gross profit margin for NABORS INDUSTRIES LTD is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 33.02%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of -49.95% is significantly below that of the industry average. Despite any intermediate fluctuations, we have only bad news to report on this stock's performance over the last year: it has tumbled by 45.53%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 828.57% compared to the year-earlier 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. NABORS INDUSTRIES LTD has experienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from the same quarter a year ago. The company has reported a trend of declining earnings per share over the past two years. However, the consensus estimate suggests that this trend should reverse in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, NABORS INDUSTRIES LTD swung to a loss, reporting -$2.35 versus $0.51 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.46 versus -$2.35). You can view the full analysis from the report here: NBR Ratings Report

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Radian Group are up 0.55% to $16.32 in afternoon trading Wednesday after MKM Partners initiated coverage with a "buy" rating and a $22 price target. "In our view, Radian's earnings and returns will improve over the next several years as its legacy portfolio becomes a smaller portion of its overall portfolio of risk, " MKM analysts said. Radian has emerged as the largest Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) company in the industry by insurance in force following the credit crisis, the firm said, adding that the company has grown nicely in recent years while residential mortgage underwriting standards improved dramatically. Exclusive Report: Jim Cramer's Best Stocks for 2015Analysts expect Radian's manageable PMIERs shortfall following the sale of its financial guaranty to comply with the Federal Housing Finance Agency's new rules well before these capital requirements become effective. "Since the credit crisis, the private mortgage insurance industry has become very attractive. Credit quality remains strong, home values are still appreciating, premium rates are nearly double what they were pre-crisis and required capital is up only 30% to 40%, but likely to move a bit higher following PMIERs implementation," MKM Partners said, adding that the 2006-2008 loans are quickly becoming a much smaller part of the story. With this knowledge, if investors are looking to gain exposure to a financials firm with improving return potential, analysts encourage them to consider Radian shares. Radian Group is a credit enhancement company with a primary strategic focus on domestic residential mortgage insurance on first-lien mortgage loans (first-liens). Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates RADIAN GROUP INC as a Buy with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: "We rate RADIAN GROUP INC (RDN) a BUY. This is driven by some important positives, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity, compelling growth in net income, impressive record of earnings per share growth and expanding profit margins. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results." Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows: The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 6.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 8.6%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share. The company's current return on equity greatly increased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of significant strength within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Thrifts & Mortgage Finance industry and the overall market, RADIAN GROUP INC's return on equity significantly exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500. The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Thrifts & Mortgage Finance industry. The net income increased by 1077.7% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $36.37 million to $428.34 million. RADIAN GROUP 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. However, we anticipate underperformance relative to this pattern in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, RADIAN GROUP INC turned its bottom line around by earning $5.37 versus -$1.37 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 72.6% in earnings ($1.47 versus $5.37). The gross profit margin for RADIAN GROUP INC is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 32.29%. Regardless of RDN's low profit margin, it has managed to increase from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, RDN's net profit margin of 145.17% significantly outperformed against the industry. You can view the full analysis from the report here: RDN Ratings Report

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Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of Jim Cramer, TheStreet, Inc., or any of its contributors. TheStreet Ratings quantitative algorithm evaluates over 4,300 stocks on a daily basis by 32 different data factors and assigns a unique buy, sell, or hold recommendation on each stock. Click here to learn more. NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Merchants Bancshares has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from Hold to Buy with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: "We rate MERCHANTS BANCSHARES (MBVT) a BUY. This is driven by some important positives, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its expanding profit margins and reasonable valuation levels. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself." Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows: The gross profit margin for MERCHANTS BANCSHARES is currently very high, coming in at 93.20%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 16.28% is above that of the industry average. Regardless of the drop in revenue, the company managed to outperform against the industry average of 4.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 2.9%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share. MERCHANTS BANCSHARES's earnings per share declined by 36.1% 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 two years. However, we anticipate this trend to reverse over the coming year. During the past fiscal year, MERCHANTS BANCSHARES reported lower earnings of $1.91 versus $2.40 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.24 versus $1.91). 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 Commercial Banks industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, MERCHANTS BANCSHARES has outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500. You can view the full analysis from the report here: MBVT Ratings Report

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BALTIMORE (Stockpickr) -- Put down the 10-K filings and the stock screeners. It's time to take a break from the traditional methods of generating investment ideas. Instead, let the crowd do it for you. From hedge funds to individual investors, scores of market participants are turning to social media to figure out which stocks are worth watching. It's a concept that's known as "crowdsourcing," and it uses the masses to identify emerging trends in the market. Crowdsourcing has long been a popular tool for the advertising industry, but it also makes a lot of sense as an investment tool. After all, the market is completely driven by the supply and demand, so it can be valuable to see what names are trending among the crowd. While some fund managers are already trying to leverage social media resources like Twitter to find algorithmic trading opportunities, for most investors, crowdsourcing works best as a starting point for investors who want a starting point in their analysis. Today, we'll leverage the power of the crowd to take a look at some of the most active stocks on the market today. Must Read: Warren Buffett's Top 10 Dividend Stocks Alcoa Nearest Resistance: $16.50Nearest Support: $14Catalyst: Analyst Downgrade Up first today is $19 billion metals company Alcoa . Alcoa is selling off more than 5.6% this afternoon, swatted lower by an analyst downgrade at Bank of America. BofA cut Alcoa from buy to neutral, spurring the high-volume selling at the open this morning. Alcoa's chart has been showing some cracks lately. Shares peaked in December, and they've been making lower highs since, an indication that buyers have been losing control. AA is settling into a support range between $14 and $14.50 right now, which could act as a floor for the time being. That said, if that $14 line in the sand gets violated, look out below. Must Read: 10 Stocks Billionaire John Paulson Loves Oasis Petroleum Nearest Resistance: $20Nearest Support: $13.50Catalyst: Share Offering Small-cap energy exploration and production company Oasis Petroleum is seeing some big-volume trading of its own this afternoon, boosted by a 32 million share offering. The firm had initially planned on offering 25 million shares but upsized the deal, ultimately collecting gross proceeds of $409.6 million. Oasis plans on using the cash to repay debt. Even though shares are correcting on the offering news today, OAS' chart actually looks pretty constructive here. Shares have been bouncing their way higher in an uptrend since the middle of December, catching a bid on every test of trend line support so far. With shares resting on that support line this afternoon, it makes sense to buy the bounce in OAS. Must Read: Warren Buffett's Top 10 Stock Buys Abercrombie & Fitch Nearest Resistance: $25Nearest Support: $20Catalyst: Q4 Earnings Teen apparel stock Abercrombie & Fitch is down big on an earnings disappointment. The firm has shed more than 14% on big volume so far this afternoon, dragged down by same store comps that missed the mark. While analysts were expecting a 4.9% comparable sales drop, the firm actually shrank by 9%. Even though earnings of $1.15 per share were in-line with expectations, the worse-than-expected comps and a challenging retail environment this year are scaring investors. ANF hasn't exactly looked attractive from a technical standpoint for a long time. It doesn't take an expert trader to figure out that this stock has been bouncing its way lower in a downtrend since last summer, and today's big drop keeps things within the context of that trend channel. Buyers should avoid being tempted by a "bargain" here. The price action is still pointing lower in ANF. -- Written by Jonas Elmerraji in Baltimore. Must Read: 10 Stocks George Soros Is Buying

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BOSTON (TheStreet) -- The Securities and Exchange Commission's top cop wants drug companies to be more transparent with investors about their dealings with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. "Accuracy of reporting in your dealings with the FDA is critical to getting investors the information they need. FDA dealings and approvals are the lifeblood of your business and are so important to investment decisions," Andrew Ceresney, the director of the SEC enforcement division, told a gathering of pharmaceutical executives Tuesday. In his speech, Ceresney talked about three cases where the SEC nabbed drug and medical device companies for lying to investors about FDA interactions. No surprise here, but in all the cases company executives put a rosy, misleading spin on what were actually serious regulatory setbacks. Investors had no way of knowing the truth because the FDA isn't set up to monitor what companies say about dealings with the agency. Even in cases where the FDA knows companies are lying, the agency is prohibited from saying anything publicly. The truth only came out after the SEC intervened. To avoid landing in the SEC's hot seat, Ceresny suggested drug companies do more than just describe the communications they have with FDA officials. "... Sharing the FDA correspondence with investors eliminates many of the issues we have discussed because investors get to see the actual back and forth and judge for themselves. This obviously isn't practical for every item of FDA correspondence, but it is important to consider such disclosure for critical ones," Ceresney said. That's a great idea. Let's start with the full, public disclosure of FDA Complete Response Letters. These are the rejection letters FDA sends to companies explaining the reasons why a submitted drug cannot be approved. By definition, an FDA Complete Response Letter is bad news, but there are degrees of badness. FDA rejecting a drug because of unanswered questions about the contents of a label is a lot less onerous than FDA asking for an entirely new clinical trial. Must Read: MannKind's Charts Suggest Waiting on the Stock After Goldman's Downgrade Investor transparency would be well served by companies making public full versions of FDA Complete Response Letters, instead of just describing the contents. After that, I'd like to see more corporate transparency and disclosure around the agreements reached with FDA on design of clinical trials, particularly clinical endpoints used to measure efficacy and safety. Companies should let investors read the letters FDA sends about Special Protocol Assessments. If regulators raise alarm bells about the conduct of an ongoing clinical trials, investors have the right to know. There are too many examples of drug companies sweeping FDA warnings about the design and conduct of clinical trials under the rug. The most infamous case involved ImClone Systems, which misled investors for two years by not disclosing FDA concerns about the design of studies involving the cancer drug Erbitux. The insider trading cases which sent ImClone CEO Sam Waksal and pal Martha Stewart to jail only happened because the company kept material FDA communications secret from investors. Hemispherx Biopharma , Aveo Oncology , Genzyme (now part of Sanofi ), Map Pharma, Introgen Therapeutics, Ampio Pharmaceuticals have run into problems understating -- or not disclosing at all -- concerns raised by FDA about clinical trials. Eventually, this information gets out at FDA advisory committee meetings or when drugs are rejected. But by then investors are hurt. It's encouraging to hear the SEC's Ceresney raise the FDA transparency issue with an audience of pharmaceutical executives, but more needs to be done. No one is naive enough to believe drug companies will post FDA letters voluntarily. There are companies out there whose business model essentially depends on being secretive and misleading with investors about their FDA interactions. The SEC needs to follow through by making it a priority to police drug companies to make sure that disclosures about FDA matters are truthful. More phone calls, more investigations, would serve as a deterrent. Let's empower FDA to be more vocal about regulatory matters, especially when it learns companies are shading the truth. At the very least, the SEC and FDA should establish a clear line of communication to facilitate fact checking. Must Read: Orexigen Weight-Loss Pill Shows Surprise Heart-Safety Benefit

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BALTIMORE (Stockpickr) -- Put down the 10-K filings and the stock screeners. It's time to take a break from the traditional methods of generating investment ideas. Instead, let the crowd do it for you. From hedge funds to individual investors, scores of market participants are turning to social media to figure out which stocks are worth watching. It's a concept that's known as "crowdsourcing," and it uses the masses to identify emerging trends in the market. Crowdsourcing has long been a popular tool for the advertising industry, but it also makes a lot of sense as an investment tool. After all, the market is completely driven by the supply and demand, so it can be valuable to see what names are trending among the crowd. While some fund managers are already trying to leverage social media resources like Twitter to find algorithmic trading opportunities, for most investors, crowdsourcing works best as a starting point for investors who want a starting point in their analysis. Today, we'll leverage the power of the crowd to take a look at some of the most active stocks on the market today. Must Read: Warren Buffett's Top 10 Dividend Stocks Veeva Systems Nearest Resistance: $30Nearest Support: $25Catalyst: Q4 Earnings Mid-cap software company Veeva Systems is selling off more than 21% this afternoon, smacked lower by the firm's fourth quarter earnings numbers. While Veeva's 12-cent profit came in ahead of analysts' 9-cent estimates, a weak forecast for the rest of 2015 triggered the selloff in today's session. From a technical standpoint, today's selling in VEEV is significant. While shares have been bouncing their way higher in a well-defined uptrend since last summer, today's big drop is a very conspicuous violation of that support line. With the uptrend broken, VEEV could have further to fall before it finds meaningful support again. Must Read: 10 Stocks Billionaire John Paulson Loves Micron Technology Nearest Resistance: $31.50Nearest Support: $28.50Catalyst: Technical Setup Flash memory maker Micron Technology is down slightly on big volume this afternoon, a move that's primarily technical today. MU has given back more than 16% of its market value year-to-date in 2015, a drop that's largely a result of the multi-year rally that this stock has paid out to shareholders in 2013 and 2014. Today, MU is closing in on a moderate support level at $28.50 with more meaningful support further down at $27. Look for the next support bounce as a "buy the dips" opportunity in Micron. The primary trend is still higher here. Must Read: 10 New Stocks Billionaire David Einhorn Loves Alibaba Group Nearest Resistance: $85Nearest Support: $80Catalyst: Technical Setup Alibaba Group is another big stock that's moving for technical reasons in today's session. In spite of the fact that shares are bouncing 2% this afternoon, the trend in BABA is about as ugly as it gets. This stock has sold off more than 30% since it peaked back in November, and shares are making new lows. Effectively, just about everyone who has bought this stock post-IPO is sitting on losses right now, and that's going to contribute to selling on every leg higher. Buyers beware. Must Read: 5 Stocks Warren Buffett Is Selling Microsoft Nearest Resistance: $44Nearest Support: $40Catalyst: Technical Setup Last up on our list of high-volume trades today is tech giant Microsoft . Despite a relatively flat day, Microsoft is drawing big volume for technical reasons this afternoon, as shares retrace from a test of resistance up at $44. MSFT spent all of February in rally mode, rebounding from a big earnings-fueled gap down at the end of January. This month, it's not surprising to see a little bit of consolidation as buyers and sellers work out their next move. If you're looking for a buying opportunity in MSFT, wait for shares to move above our $44 price ceiling. That will be a good indication that buyers have regained control of this stock. -- Written by Jonas Elmerraji in Baltimore. Must Read: 10 Stocks George Soros Is Buying

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The downgrade of Hercules Offshore to zero by Deutsche Bank has begun the second phase of the oil bust. Under pressure from continuing weak oil prices, oil companies will have to scramble to find new financing, begin restructuring or ultimately go out of business altogether. But which is the next HERO to go to zero in the offshore sector? I sat down with Jim Cramer to try and figure that out. No one in the offshore subsector is in quite as bad a position as Hercules finds itself, with only 10 of its 24 rigs contracted for work and a hugely overleveraged cash position. Because HERO is a shallow-water specialist where competition is particularly fierce, it cannot find work in the more lucrative and longer-term mid-depth and deep-water projects. No other rig operator is quite as specialized and debt ridden as Hercules. But others in the space have their own problems. Rowan is mostly shallow water with only four of its 34 rigs capable of drilling in 10,000 feet of water. Noble Corp. owns nine deep-water rigs of the 32 in its fleet, but is more leveraged than Rowan, with its bonds trading upwards of 6.5%. But perhaps the stock that has not yet come down far enough is Ensco , which has better flexibility with 19 deep-water and ultra-deep-water rigs out of its huge, 61-rig fleet, but still will have 19 of its rigs idled in 2015 with new completion expected on another six new rigs. No one is as aggressive in building its fleet and retiring its older rigs as Ensco. Despite a very clean balance sheet and light leverage, it feels as if the continuing down cycle in offshore has yet to hit the stock fully. Ultra deep-water specialists are also a difficult recommendation, but their specialty is far less competitive. There are truly a limited number of rigs that can handle projects destined to drill three miles underwater or more. While it is true that the number of new projects in ultra-deep-water are not destined to increase until mid-2016, there are only the very few of these that the oil companies can rely upon for specialized rigs. This includes Transocean , Seadrill and perhaps Atwood Oceanics . In trying to get ahead of the next up cycle of offshore drilling, this is where I would concentrate. Finally, there are the services companies of offshore drillers. With these you needn't make a bet on any particular company or their fleet utilization. When the sector turns around, the services companies will turn around with them, no matter which company makes out best or worst. Two of these worth considering are Cameron and National Oilwell Varco . Continued bad news is likely to follow all of these names for quite a while, with some following Hercules into possible bankruptcy. But there are still long-term investment ideas worth exploring in this very tricky space. I talk more about offshore opportunities and minefields with Jim in the video above. Must Read: Shale Oil Bust Enters Phase Two, Led by Hercules and SandRidge

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Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of Jim Cramer, TheStreet, Inc., or any of its contributors. TheStreet Ratings quantitative algorithm evaluates over 4,300 stocks on a daily basis by 32 different data factors and assigns a unique buy, sell, or hold recommendation on each stock. Click here to learn more. NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Jinkosolar Holding Co has been downgraded by TheStreet Ratings from Hold to Sell with a ratings score of D+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: TheStreet Ratings team rates JINKOSOLAR HOLDING CO as a Sell with a ratings score of D+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: "We rate JINKOSOLAR HOLDING CO (JKS) a SELL. This is driven by some concerns, which we believe should have a greater impact than any strengths, and could make it more difficult for investors to achieve positive results compared to most of the stocks we cover. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its generally high debt management risk, poor profit margins and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself." Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows: The debt-to-equity ratio is very high at 2.38 and currently higher than the industry average, implying increased risk associated with the management of debt levels within the company. To add to this, JKS has a quick ratio of 0.70, this demonstrates the lack of ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs. The gross profit margin for JINKOSOLAR HOLDING CO is rather low; currently it is at 22.84%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 8.29% significantly trails the industry average. Looking at the price performance of JKS's shares over the past 12 months, there is not much good news to report: the stock is down 30.29%, and it has underformed the S&P 500 Index. In addition, the company's earnings per share are lower today than 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. JINKOSOLAR HOLDING CO's earnings per share declined by 25.0% 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, JINKOSOLAR HOLDING CO increased its bottom line by earning $2.39 versus $1.09 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($3.61 versus $2.39). Current return on equity exceeded its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of strength within the company. Compared to other companies in the Semiconductors & Semiconductor Equipment industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, JINKOSOLAR HOLDING CO has underperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has exceeded that of the S&P 500. You can view the full analysis from the report here: JKS Ratings Report

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The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is sometimes referred to as the fear index because it tends to move higher during times of fear and panic on Wall Street. I think a better term is the insurance index. Your insurance price is at its highest right after you've been in an accident. But there are some things that can be extrapolated from the VIX. The most important question is how is it moving relative to the S&P 500 ? Right now, the two look quite simpatico. S&P is rallying, slowly, and the VIX tanked during that incredible February recovery.Mark Sebastian's analysis was featured on Jim Cramer's "Off the Charts" segment on "Mad Money" March 3. Sebastian is a regular contributor to TheStreet's Options Profits. Has the VIX been lower than it is now? Yes, but not much. Calling bottoms in the VIX is about as smart as calling tops in the S&P 500. At this point, the VIX is low, in relative terms. So if the price of the VIX is the cost of investment insurance, we are being given the opportunity to buy portfolio protection at very attractive levels. Must Read: Avoid Buying These 11 Highly Volatile S&P 500 Stocks Some investors feel it's time to go to cash. I do not think that is the best option. The biggest fear now regards how Federal Reserve monetary policy might affect the S&P 500, but look at how the market has performed since the Fed began tapering its quantitative easing program. Is a dip to break even worth giving up a year of returns in the double digits? With the VIX around 13, one can buy portfolio insurance that might amount to only a few hundred basis points, a small price to pay to prepare for the time when market fear ahead of a Fed meeting finally proves itself right. The time to be complacent and unhedged is over. In general, the VIX rises when put-option buying increases, and it falls when call-buying activity is more robust. With the S&P 500 nearing all-time highs and the VIX lower, now is the time to take advantage of cheaper insurance. Should the market pull back, put premiums will get more expensive as demand increases. Just like with any insurance, you don't wait for an event to happen and then get forced to pay up. Buying portfolio protection in the form of SPX puts does not imply a directionally bearish posture, but rather a prudent hedge to protect gains and longer-term positions.Must Read: 13 Volatile Stocks to Buy Right Now if You Are a Risk Taker


NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei turned up the heat this week in the long-simmering competition between cable-TV's premium channels. In a shot at rival Time Warner , Maffei told investors at a conference hosted by Morgan Stanley that HBO shouldn't expect to generate much demand or profit from its Internet-based standalone service, which is expected to launch later this year.Conversely, Starz , of which Maffei is chairman through Liberty's inter-locking corporate structure, is better positioned than HBO to see profit from alternative offerings from traditional cable-TV and satellite distributors, he said. "It's unclear to me that there's a massive amount of over-the-top demand for HBO," Maffei said, expressing doubt that consumers will be willing to pay anywhere around $15 for a non-bundled premium-channel service. "It's not clear to me that that's going to create enormous amount of incremental demand for HBO. What is clear to me is that there are people who don't want to get behind the bundle."In October, HBO CEO Richard Plepler announced plans to sell online subscriptions to the channel as an Internet-based offering. The goal, Plepler said, was to win over the 10 million U.S. homes that have an Internet connection but don't subscribe to pay-TV as well as the 70 million homes that get pay-TV but don't get HBO.But HBO's strategy could run into resistance from cable-TV providers who fear that the standalone offering could cannibalize their overall service, said Pivotal Research Group analyst Jeffrey Wlodarczak."HBO's hope is that by not being part of the more expensive digital package they will be better able to expand their market," Wlodarczak said in an e-mail. "As HBO tries to go direct to the consumer there is no ability for HBO to capture extra margin because today distributors make no money on HBO." Yet HBO carries more leverage with cable-TV and satellite operators than its rivals at Starz or CBS's Showtime, says Shahid Khan, co-founder of Mediamorph, the New York-based media industry software and data provider. Time Warner will be faced with additional technology and billings related to brining HBO online, but subscriber growth will largely turn into profits. "There are additional costs to unbundling but you can pretty much use the infrastructure that you use for your TV Everywhere structure -- it's not that much more," Khan said in a phone interview. "HBO is the highest leveraged premium channel out there, so they can afford to piss off the [cabel-TV] partners. The others, like Starz, may not be able to." Cable-TV distributors, Wlodarczak added, profit handsomely from Starz, and with HBO going direct through an online offering, distributors will be incentivized to push alternative packages that include premium channels. Under CEO Chris Albrecht, Starz has increased its production of original programming, including serials such as Outlander and Black Sails, following the transition among premium cable-TV channels from libraries of films and TV serials into networks of production and acquisitions. Premium networks such as HBO and Starz, Maffei said, should be most concerned with "cord cutters" who are dropping their cable or satellite services completely, and "cord shavers," who are reducing their bundled services. Such consumers may consider the HBO over-the-top offering, but find that they would prefer to pay for Netflix , which offers a wide variety TV serials, films and increasingly, its own content. An HBO spokesman declined to comment. Starz, Maffei said, may choose not to offer an online service but instead roll out a different product in conjunction with its cable, telco and satellite partners. Maffei didn't elaborate on what that project might be. That's a strategy Wlodarczak said could be successful.If Starz' original content effort is highly successful "they have the opportunity longer term to go direct and capture a lot of margin going to distributors," he said. "Realistically, the best move for Starz is to be the best partner possible to their distributors." Must Read: Warren Buffett's Top 10 Stock Buys

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- When you think about Orlando, the first thing that likely comes to mind is the Disney and Universal Studio theme parks. But as Orlando mayor Buddy Dyer and Orange County, Fla. mayor Teresa Jacobs will tell you, there's much more to Orlando than its highest profile businesses. The city, which is the Orange County seat, is transforming itself into a high tech, innovative and entrepreneurial landscape. In 2014, the city ranked number one among U.S. cities when it came to job growth. In particular, life sciences is an area many outsiders typically don't associate with Orlando, Jacobs said. The city has more than 4,700 life sciences companies. It also has a large labor market for modeling, simulating and training, with companies like EA Games , Siemens, Sand Lockheed Martin operating in the city. Also opening soon will be the medical simulation training center for the Veterans Administration, she said. Orlando, FL Labor Force data by YCharts So what makes it so attractive for the companies to be in Orlando? For one thing, there's a "robust" talent pool to chose from, said Dyer. There are 500,000 college and university students within a 100-mile radius of the city. In fact, Central Florida University, which is located in Orlando, is one of the largest pubic universities in the country based on enrollment. The city's average age is just 36 years old. Dyer added that the city is spending a lot on infrastructure, particularly on public transportation. Orlando is expanding its airport, as well as building a high-speed rail from the airport to Miami. The rail line will include several stops in between, as well, Jacobs said. Must Read: 10 Stocks Carl Icahn Loves for 2015 -- Written by Bret Kenwell

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