Analysts’ Downgrades for September, 13th (AXLL, FUJIY, GWAY, MRW, NTLS, PNG, SNY, STSA, SUSS, TUES)
Axiall Corp. (NASDAQ:AXLL) was downgraded by analysts at Bank of America Corp. from a buy rating to a neutral rating. Bank of America Corp. currently has $45.00 price target on the stock, down from their previous price target of $56.00. The analysts wrote, “We see lack of potential upside catalysts through the end of 2013, while downside risks to chlor-alkali prices (caustic soda + chlorine) became greater recently. We initiated coverage of AXLL with a Buy rating on June 5 based on expected improvement in PVC resin offsetting weakness in caustic soda. While caustic soda prices did decline in July-August, we believe prices could fall more over the next 6 months. Meanwhile, improvement in PVC margins now appears unlikely until the next building season begins in the spring of 2014. We think there is value in AXLL shares for long-term investors, but we do not expect shares to outperform in the near/medium term.”
FUJIFILM Holdings (NASDAQ:FUJIY) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks from an outperform rating to a neutral rating. The firm currently has $24.00 target price on the stock. Zacks’ analyst wrote, “We are downgrading are recommendation of Fujifilm to Neutral from Outperform based on the declining business of compact digital cameras. In the first quarter of fiscal 2014, the reduced sales of compact digital cameras pulled down the operating margins for the Imaging Solutions business. The decline in the camera business was accompanied by a reduction in the information technology business demand. Moreover, the company’s presence in regions outside Japan exposes it to various socio-economic and political risks. The economic deterioration in Europe in fiscal 2013 was a major blow to the company’s financials. In the fiscal first quarter of 2014, Fujifilm managed reporting a strong results. Net income in the quarter jumped 497.0% year over year to 15.0 billion on the back of improved revenues as well as margins. Revenues increased 9.7% year over year to 568.7 billion. The increase in revenues was a result of product launches. Fujifilm also experienced a boost from its recent acquisitions as well as in its core segments. Based on these factors, we prefer to have a balanced view on the stock.”
Greenway Medical Technologies (NASDAQ:GWAY) was downgraded by analysts at Sidoti from a buy rating to a neutral rating.
WM Morrison Supermarkets (LON:MRW) was downgraded by analysts at Citigroup Inc. to a sell rating. They currently have GBX 280 ($4.38) price target on the stock.
NTELOS Holdings Corp (NASDAQ:NTLS) was downgraded by analysts at TheStreet to a hold rating.
PAA Natural Gas Storage (NYSE:PNG) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks from a neutral rating to an underperform rating. They currently have $21.30 price target on the stock.
Sanofi-Aventis (NYSE:SNY) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks from a neutral rating to an underperform rating. The firm currently has $44.00 target price on the stock. Zacks’ analyst wrote, “We are downgrading Sanofi to Underperform following its lackluster performance in the second quarter of 2013 and the lowered guidance. Second quarter earnings were down 18.5% at CER from the year-ago period. The company now expects business earnings per share to decrease in a band of 7% to 10% from 2012 levels (previous guidance: flat-to-down 5%). Sanofi lowered its guidance primarily due to an adjustment in Brazil. We remain concerned about generic erosion confronting most of Sanofi’s key drugs. Additionally, pipeline failures have put immense pressure on Sanofi. In view of these challenges, we see little reason for investors to hold on to the stock at current levels.”
Sterling Financial Corp. (Washington) (NASDAQ:STSA) was downgraded by analysts at DA Davidson from a buy rating to a neutral rating. DA Davidson currently has $30.52 price target on the stock, up from their previous price target of $30.00. The analysts wrote, “Sterling shareholders will receive 1.671 shares of Umpqua Holdings Corporation (UMPQ – BUY – $16.44) common stock and $2.18 cash for each share of Sterling common stock. This represents a 15% premium to yesterday’s (9/11/2013) closing price and is, in our opinion, a fair value (~1.65x current TBV). The offer is approximately 2.5x Sterling’s 2010 recapitalization price and the merger would close the chapter on a successful transition from a struggling bank to one with a good franchise value that has attracted an impressive suitor. Existing shareholders of Umpqua and Sterling are expected to own approximately 51% and 49% of the outstanding shares, respectively.”
Susser Holdings Corp. (NASDAQ:SUSS) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks from a neutral rating to an underperform rating. Zacks currently has $49.10 price target on the stock.
Tuesday Morning Corp. (NASDAQ:TUES) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks to a neutral rating. They currently have $14.40 target price on the stock.
Under Armour (NYSE:UA) was downgraded by analysts at DA Davidson from a buy rating to a neutral rating. They currently have $85.00 target price on the stock, up from their previous target price of $79.00. The analysts wrote, “Downgrading to NEUTRAL as shares approach price target (previously Buy). With shares up over 65% YTD, UA’s valuation multiple has steadily crept up to its current level of 43x our 2014 EPS estimate. While optimism around UA’s growth potential is well deserved, we are incrementally more concerned about the current risk/reward profile at current valuation levels. UA’s lofty valuation adequately reflects UA’s substantial long-term growth prospects, but also creates significant downside risk from even the smallest operational hiccup or market pullback. 2H earnings upside potential remains, but will it satisfy lofty investor expectations? Similar to 1H results, we believe 2H results will bring a modest upward drift to full year guidance. In our view, this will be entirely from company specific growth initiatives including outlet store growth and wholesale apparel strength rather than broad based consumer strength. At the current share price, we believe investor expectations for material upward earnings revisions in 3Q and the 2H are high.”
Vera Bradley (NYSE:VRA) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks from a neutral rating to an underperform rating. The firm currently has $17.90 target price on the stock.
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