HEY, UPGRADES COUNT, TOO

Given all the talk of U.S. government downgrades, weak economic reports and euro zone angst, it's easy to overlook the fact that individual companies are still getting upgrades. In fact, upgrades outpaced downgrades by a 2-to-1 margin last week.

Analysts covering Ecolab, Mosaic, C.H. Robinson Worldwide, Xcel Energy and two analysts covering Northern Oil and Gas all offered upgrades last week.

Through Friday at noon, 236 companies in the Standard & Poor's 500 had received analyst upgrades compared with 117 downgrades.

WIRELESS RONIN SURPRISES AND ANALYSTS RESPOND

Wireless Ronin Technologies is one of the smallest public companies in Minnesota to attract coverage from multiple analysts. Wireless Ronin is covered by four analysts. Each of them updated their research reports after the company reported better-than-expected second-quarter results on Aug. 3. The Minnetonka-based company provides digital signage software and services for retail and services markets.

Marco Rodriguez, who covers Wireless Ronin for Stonegate Securities, wrote recently that "with a compelling value proposition to clients, a large and expanding market, and an ability to offer clients a one-stop shop offering digital signage... Wireless Ronin appears well positioned."

But one of the risks Rodriguez identifies is that as of Dec. 31 the company's top four clients represented 76 percent of total revenues. So while the company got a $1.8 million order from Chrysler in the second quarter, the company is very dependent on Chrysler, which accounts for 48 percent of the annual sales.

PATRICK KENNEDY