Stock Analysts’ Ratings Reiterations for February, 17th (ADTN, ALNY, CE, EQT, FTI, IFF, IFNNY, IM, JNJ, KRFT)
Adtran (NASDAQ:ADTN) had its neutral rating reaffirmed by analysts at Zacks. Zacks currently has a $27.00 target price on the stock. Zacks’ analyst wrote, “ADTRAN posted mixed financial results for the fourth quarter of 2013. Meanwhile, the company continues to perform well owing to strong contributions from the U.S., the Europe, the Middle East and Africa and Latin America regions. ADTRAN has stabilized its businesses with the Tier 1 carriers and has also won contracts from Tier 2 and Tier 3 carriers. We expect the company to benefit from market share gain, strong growth of core products, solid international sales and growing service revenues. However, global macroeconomic fluctuations, foreign currency risk and stiff competition may act as headwinds for ADTRAN moving ahead. Moreover, the stock price has soared more than 43.6% in the last one year and is currently trading at the high-end of its 52-week price range. Therefore, we maintain our long term Neutral recommendation on ADTRAN.”
Alnylam Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ALNY) had its neutral rating reaffirmed by analysts at Zacks. Zacks currently has a $83.00 price target on the stock. Zacks’ analyst wrote, “Alnylam’s fourth quarter 2013 loss of $0.51 per share was wider than the year-ago loss of $0.24 and the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of $0.48 per share. We are nonetheless encouraged by Alnylam’s progress with its pipeline, especially the ATTR program. However, any negative news related to the pipeline will weigh heavily on the stock. We expect investor focus to remain on the development of the pipeline. Meanwhile, Alnylam’s deal with Sanofi is encouraging. The deal ensures continued pipeline progress apart from boosting Alnylam’s balance sheet. We see limited upside potential from current levels and hence maintain our Neutral stance on Alnylam.”
Celanese Corp. Ser -A- (NYSE:CE) had its neutral rating reaffirmed by analysts at Zacks. Zacks currently has a $56.00 target price on the stock.
EQT Corp. (NYSE:EQT) had its neutral rating reiterated by analysts at Zacks. They currently have a $103.00 target price on the stock. Zacks’ analyst wrote, “We are maintaining our long-term Neutral recommendation on EQT Corporation following its fourth quarter 2013 results. The company posted lukewarm numbers in the fourth quarter missing estimates but beating year-ago numbers. Going forward, increased drilling and investment in the deeper Marcellus gas shale play will be the main growth driver. However, we remain worried about susceptibility to erratic energy sector fundamentals, lacking a well diversified asset portfolio leading to operational hindrances. However, we expect the company to exceed its 2014 targeted production sales volume supported by the low-risk/high-growth drilling locations in the Marcellus Shale.”
FMC Technologies (NYSE:FTI) had its neutral rating reaffirmed by analysts at Zacks. Zacks currently has a $54.00 target price on the stock. Zacks’ analyst wrote, “We are maintaining our Neutral recommendation on FMC Technologies with a target price of $54. The company has a diversified product portfolio, specialty service capabilities and proprietary technological expertise. Other positives for FMC Technologies include a strong backlog position, growing international operations and a favorable outlook for subsea activity levels. However, we have a difficult time justifying a sufficient enough potential return to support an Outperform rating. Moreover, with markets remaining competitive and pricing likely to be weak, we believe FTI shares are fairly valued and expect them to perform in line with the broader market. “
International Flavors & Fragrances (NYSE:IFF) had its neutral rating reissued by analysts at Zacks. They currently have a $96.00 target price on the stock. Zacks’ analyst wrote, “International Flavors & Fragrances reported adjusted earnings per share of $0.92 in fourth-quarter 2013, up 10.8% year over year and above the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $0.90. Revenue increased 6.6%. Sales in emerging markets grew 11% and accounted for 50% of total sales. Margins benefited from cost reductions and manufacturing efficiencies. Revenue and earnings growth are anticipated to remain strong in 2014. The acquisition of Aromor will add 1% to local currency sales growth and be accretive to earnings. The company’s plan to invest $50 million in Indonesia will expand its Flavors business in the region. Besides expansion plans, the company’s investments will strengthen its innovation platforms. Rewarding shareholders through dividend payments and share buybacks also remains a priority for the company. Despite these, increase in debt levels as well as negative impact from foreign currency translation might prove detrimental to growth. Thus, currently we maintain a Neutral recommendation on the stock.”
Infineon Technologies AG (NASDAQ:IFNNY) had its neutral rating reiterated by analysts at Zacks. The firm currently has a $11.00 target price on the stock. Zacks’ analyst wrote, “We are maintaining a Neutral rating on Infineon Technologies with a target price of $11. The company recently reported a weak first quarter with a 7% decrease in revenues and a 38.5% decrease in earnings sequentially. Further, the company reported lower revenue across its segments. Nevertheless, going forward, the company is positive about its performance in the automotive sector, Power Management and Multimarket and Chip, Card & Security segments. In addition, the company continues to make huge capital investments in its research and development. In fiscal 2013, Infineon spent 525 million ($697 million) on research and development. “
Ingram Micro Inc. Shs -A- (NYSE:IM) had its outperform rating reiterated by analysts at Zacks. They currently have a $34.00 price target on the stock. Zacks’ analyst wrote, “Ingram Micro reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter results with both the top and bottom lines surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate. We believe the improving IT spending trend will help Ingram post better results, going forward. Moreover, the company’s focus on the high-margin market and strategic acquisitions to increase market share is encouraging. The Brightpoint acquisition is also expected to remain a key growth driver for the company. Though Ingram Micro’s significant European exposure and a high debt burden are concerns, we remain optimistic about the company’s strategic relationship with networking companies such as Juniper and Cisco. Thus, we reiterate our Outperform recommendation on the stock. “
Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) had its neutral rating reissued by analysts at Zacks. The firm currently has a $97.00 price target on the stock. Zacks’ analyst wrote, “J&J exited 2013 on a strong note with fourth quarter EPS coming in at $1.24, above the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.20 and up 4.2% y/y. Revenues increased 4.5% y/y to $18.4 billion, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $17.9 billion. Despite the negative impact of currency fluctuation and the lackluster performance of the medical devices segment, J&J recorded growth on the back of strong product sales. However, the company’s guidance for 2014 fell short of expectations. While we expect the company to continue facing headwinds in the form of pricing pressure, manufacturing issues, and U.S. healthcare reform, we believe the diversified business model, lack of cyclicality and strong financial position will continue helping the company pave its way through tough situations. We remain Neutral on the stock.”
Kraft Foods Group (NASDAQ:KRFT) had its neutral rating reaffirmed by analysts at Zacks. The firm currently has a $56.00 price target on the stock. Zacks’ analyst wrote, “Kraft’s fourth-quarter earnings and revenues missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the second time in a row. Nevertheless, earnings grew year over year driven by volume/mix gains and lower costs. Sales also increased 2.3% due to easier year ago comparisons. Though 2013 was slower, management expects to meet long term targets in 2014. Moreover, Kraft’s aggressive cost reduction and efficiency-improvement initiatives remain on track providing cash to invest in innovation, brand-building and marketing initiatives. Moreover, Kraft is focusing on building shareholders’ value through share buybacks and regular dividend payments. However, Kraft top line has been soft ever since the split from Mondelez. Also, several of its product categories have been sluggish due to consumption weakness and increased competitive activity. Moreover, the first quarter of 2014 could be soft due to shift in Easter timing, weak job market and the recent cut in federal food assistance. Moreover, increasing competitive pressures, challenging industry conditions and a lack of exposure outside the U.S. concerns us.”
Mitsubishi UFJ Financial (NYSE:MTU) had its neutral rating reissued by analysts at Zacks. The firm currently has a $6.25 price target on the stock. Zacks’ analyst wrote, “Mitsubishi UFJ reported increased net income for the nine months of fiscal 2014 (ended Dec 31, 2013) as compared with the year-ago period. Organic growth primarily drove the results for the quarter. However, elevated G&A expenses remain a concern. Going forward, we expect Mitsubishi UFJ’s strong business model, diversified product mix, and higher gross profits to boost its bottom line. Additionally, the company expanded its scope of engaging in a global strategic alliance with Morgan Stanley into new geographies and businesses. Yet, we are concerned about the heightening competition, expanding expense base and volatility in the Japanese economy. “
NCR Corp. (NYSE:NCR) had its neutral rating reaffirmed by analysts at Zacks. They currently have a $36.00 price target on the stock. Zacks’ analyst wrote, “NCR reported mixed fourth-quarter results, with earnings per share beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate but revenues missing the same. The company also witnessed margin expansion aided by a higher mix of software business. We are positive on the company’s future prospects given its continuous product launches, the growing popularity of its self-service offerings and synergies from acquisitions. Also, the company provided an encouraging guidance. However, softness in the ATM business in mature markets and competition from Diebold, European exposure and high debt burden remain the concerns. Thus we reiterate our Neutral recommendation on NCR.”
Protective Life Corp. (NYSE:PL) had its neutral rating reaffirmed by analysts at Zacks. They currently have a $54.00 target price on the stock. Zacks’ analyst wrote, “Protective Life’s fourth-quarter earnings came in substantially ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate and was up 46% year over year. The earnings beat came from strong contribution from Protective Life’s Stable Value Products and Asset Protection segment. However, low interest rate environment, an unsettled regulatory environment and intense competition across all retail product lines was a partial offset to the strong results. Protective Life boasts a diversified business profile and superior operating profitability. Recent acquisitions have enabled the company to enter new regions. Protective Life has also been changing its sales mix to improve life insurance margins and reduce interest rate exposure. However, headwinds such as weakness in Life marketing business and low interest rates will continue to weigh on the results. A strong balance sheet with adequate risk adjusted capitalization at each of its operating entities is another positive. We thus maintain our Neutral recommendation on Protective Life. “
Pool Corp. (NASDAQ:POOL) had its neutral rating reissued by analysts at Zacks. Zacks currently has a $61.00 price target on the stock. Zacks’ analyst wrote, “Pool Corp’s fourth quarter adjusted loss of $0.11 per share narrowed from the year-ago quarter and was in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate attributable to solid top-line growth and lower share count. The top line improved year over year and was also ahead of the consensus mark. The company’s business showed signs of improvement with some recovery in the housing market. Moreover, maintenance of pools ensured a recurring revenue stream for the company even during the economic downturn. However, the economy is yet to recover fully. The first quarter is also seasonally weak and this prevents us from being too optimistic at the current level. We therefore maintain our Neutral recommendation on the stock.”
RLI Corp. (NYSE:RLI) had its outperform rating reaffirmed by analysts at Zacks. The firm currently has a $51.00 price target on the stock. Zacks’ analyst wrote, “RLI Corp exited 2013 with the bottom line for both fourth quarter and full year exceeding Zacks Consensus Estimate as well as year ago results driven by better underwriting results. Top line fared well on both counts driven by higher premiums that resulted from better market conditions and new product offerings. Underwriting results improved primarily on the back of better underwriting performance in the Property and Casualty segments. The company also remains focused on leveraging its expertise in niche markets. It continues to return value to shareholders through regular and special dividends. However, RLI Corp.’s exposure to catastrophe losses and low interest rate environment remain as a drag on the upside. We retain our outperform recommendation on RLI Corp.”
RBC Bearings (NASDAQ:ROLL) had its neutral rating reiterated by analysts at Zacks. The firm currently has a $66.00 target price on the stock. Zacks’ analyst wrote, “RBC Bearings reported earnings per share of $0.55 in the third quarter of fiscal 2014, up 3.8% year-over-year but below the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $0.66. Revenue improved 4.4% to $100 million on the back of solid contribution from acquisitions. Businesses in the aerospace and defense end-markets were strong, offset partially by weakness in industrial market. Backlog increased 3.4% year over year in the quarter. The company intends to pursue further lucrative acquisitions. Also, benefits are expected from stabilization in the industrial end-market. However, RBC Bearings’ presence outside the U.S. exposes it to various geo-political and economic risks. Moreover, overdependence on a few customers and usage of steel as the main raw material has its drawbacks. Based on these factors, we maintain a Neutral recommendation on the stock.”
Triumph Group (NYSE:TGI) had its underperform rating reiterated by analysts at Zacks. The firm currently has a $59.00 target price on the stock. Zacks’ analyst wrote, “We have maintained our Underperform recommendation on Triumph Group following its fiscal third quarter 2014 results. The company’s top as well as bottom line missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate. The company is burdened with additional program costs associated primarily with the 747-8 program and production rate cuts on the 767 and 747-8 programs. Also, back-to-back acquisitions are weighing on the company’s cash position. In the light of these challenges, management lowered its earnings guidance for FY14 and FY16, weakened by profit reductions on the 747-8, along with a soft military market. Other factors that could act as headwinds include cyclicality of the aerospace market, lower demand on the military front and foreign currency fluctuations.”
Time Warner (NYSE:TWX) had its neutral rating reiterated by analysts at Zacks. Zacks currently has a $69.00 price target on the stock.
Whole Foods Market (NYSE:WFM) had its neutral rating reiterated by analysts at Zacks. Zacks currently has a $55.00 price target on the stock.
Western Union (NYSE:WU) had its neutral rating reiterated by analysts at Zacks. The firm currently has a $17.00 target price on the stock. Zacks’ analyst wrote, “Western Union’s fourth-quarter earnings came in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Earnings, however, compared unfavorably with $0.40 per share reported in the prior-year quarter. We are, however, optimistic about the company’s long-term growth momentum led by strategic investments in new products, services and technology. However, rapid growth of other cheaper money transfer options may lead to competitive pressures. The company is focusing on three main areas – expanding the existing network and retaining and adding new customers to the consumer money transfer business creating a digital infrastructure to drive its electronic channels business and finally, development of the business-to-business segment apart from ensuring successful integration of the Travelex business. Given the pace at which the company is aggressively making acquisitions, expanding its agent network, and rolling out new products and services, we expect Western Union to achieve long-term growth much ahead of its peers. We thus maintain our Neutral recommendation on the stock. “
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