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Research Analysts’ ratings reiterations for Wednesday, June 25th:

Ameren Corp (NYSE:AEE) had its neutral rating reaffirmed by analysts at Zacks. Zacks currently has a $42.00 target price on the stock. Zacks’ analyst wrote, “Ameren Corp. reported robust results in first-quarter 2014. Both top as well as bottom line beat the Zacks Consensus Estimates and improved year over year primarily on the back of higher demand for electricity transmission services as a result of severe winter season. We appreciate the company’s steady effort towards expansion of its operations through systematic organic growth projects besides strengthening transmission systems. Diversification of generation mix along with decline in dependence on coal-fired operations will enable Ameren Corp. to meet stringent environmental regulations. However, stringent environmental regulations and several operational risks are causes of concern. Thus, we maintain our Neutral recommendation on the stock.”

Amedisys (NASDAQ:AMED) had its neutral rating reaffirmed by analysts at Zacks. They currently have a $14.00 target price on the stock. Zacks’ analyst wrote, “Amedisys posted a weak first-quarter 2014 with adjusted loss from continuing operations of $0.07 per share, wider than the Zacks Consensus Estimate loss by $0.06. It also marked a massive downfall from the year-ago adjusted income from continuing operations of $0.15 per share. Revenues of $298.7 million lagged the estimate of $300 million and were down 9% year over year. Unfavorable weather and higher-than-expected employee healthcare cost were responsible for the company’s dismal bottom-line results. We believe poor segment performance, sluggish growth trends and the adverse impact from sequestration led to the dismal first-quarter results. However, Amedisys is poised to gain from a solid foothold in the still untapped home health and Hospice services market which should catalyze growth. In addition, positive demographic trend is another upside. Thus we initiate our coverage on Amedisys at Neutral.”

Best Buy Co (NYSE:BBY) had its neutral rating reiterated by analysts at Zacks. Zacks currently has a $31.00 price target on the stock.

Carnival (NYSE:CCL) had its neutral rating reissued by analysts at Zacks. They currently have a $40.00 target price on the stock. Zacks’ analyst wrote, “Carnival Corp. posted better than expected second-quarter fiscal 2014 results with of earnings of $0.10 per share beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate substantially and remained up 43% year over year, thanks to higher revenues, better-than-expected revenue yields as well as lower than anticipated cruise costs. Revenues also surpassed the Consensus mark by 1.4% owing to higher in cruise sales and onboard spending. Reduction in fuel consumption is a bright spot in Carnival’s report card. Moreover, the brand-building efforts and other promotional activities are expected to bode well for the company. Also, the company’s strategy to grow beyond familiar itineraries and capitalize on Asian opportunities requires special mention. However, higher operating costs owing to increased marketing spend remain a major threat to margin expansion. Meanwhile, the company expects revenue yield to slightly decline in fiscal 2014 on yearly basis, which remains a headwind.”

Carnival plc (NYSE:CUK) had its neutral rating reiterated by analysts at Zacks. The firm currently has a $42.00 price target on the stock. Zacks’ analyst wrote, “Carnival posted better than expected second-quarter fiscal 2014 results with of earnings of $0.10 per share beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate substantially and remained up 43% year over year, thanks to higher revenues, better-than-expected revenue yields as well as lower than anticipated cruise costs. Revenues also surpassed the Consensus mark by 1.4% owing to higher in cruise sales and onboard spending. Reduction in fuel consumption is a bright spot in Carnival’s report card. Moreover, the brand-building efforts and other promotional activities are expected to bode well for the company. Also, the company’s strategy to grow beyond familiar itineraries and capitalize on Asian opportunities requires special mention. However, higher operating costs owing to increased marketing spend remain a major threat to margin expansion. Meanwhile, the company expects revenue yield to slightly decline in fiscal 2014 on yearly basis, which remains a headwind.”

Dril-Quip (NYSE:DRQ) had its neutral rating reaffirmed by analysts at Zacks. They currently have a $111.00 price target on the stock. Zacks’ analyst wrote, “Dril-Quip Inc. manufactures highly engineered offshore drilling and production equipment. The company reported lukewarm first quarter numbers which was overshadowed by delivery issues to one of its major customer. Dril-Quip’s results are heavily levered with continued strength in the global deepwater drilling markets. However, the company remains exposed to highly volatile oil and gas sector fundamentals. We also remain concerned about company-specific risks, which include new product growth challenges and potential backlog losses. Additionally, any delay in the execution of contracts might also hinder the growth prospect of Dril-Quip. This is reflected in our Neutral recommendation on the stock with a target price of $111.00.”

Hologic (NASDAQ:HOLX) had its neutral rating reiterated by analysts at Zacks. The firm currently has a $26.00 target price on the stock. Zacks’ analyst wrote, “Hologic posted an improved second-quarter fiscal 2014 with adjusted EPS of $0.37, up 7.9% year over year, which surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by $0.04. The results also exceeded the company’s expectation. Revenues of $625 million were up 2% and exceeded the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $610 million. It also edged past the company’s guidance range. Amid looming headwinds such as lower sales of legacy products, a challenging capital spending environment, European uncertainty and increasing pricing pressure, Hologic’s topline was boosted by strong performance in the 3D tomosynthesis and MyoSure product lines. Currently, the major goal of management is to sustain top- and bottom-line organic growth going ahead. Besides, it is also working on the divesture of some of its smaller businesses to focus on the more profitable ones. Accordingly, we reiterate the stock at Neutral.”

iRobot (NASDAQ:IRBT) had its neutral rating reiterated by analysts at Zacks. The firm currently has a $40.00 target price on the stock. Zacks’ analyst wrote, “iRobot reported mixed results for the first quarter of 2014. Earnings declined 38% year over year to $0.18 per share, despite a 7.5% increase in revenues to $114 million. The top-line growth was driven by 16.5% revenue growth in the Home Robots segment. The company anticipates that the product launches expected in 2014, along with recently launched products will enable the company to generate significantly higher market share in the coming quarters. However, the company’s dependence on the U.S. federal government raises our concern. The company is also exposed to foreign currency fluctuations which can negatively affect the results. Based on these factors, we initiate our coverage on iRobot with a Neutral recommendation.”

Masco (NYSE:MAS) had its neutral rating reissued by analysts at Zacks. Zacks currently has a $23.00 price target on the stock. Zacks’ analyst wrote, “After a strong 2013, Masco began 2014 on a softer note missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate for both revenues and earnings as North American sales and profitability were impacted by rough weather and slowdown in construction activity. Earnings increased 15.4% year over year as decent margins made up for the relatively softer revenue performance. Revenues grew 4.8% year over year as strong international sales made up for softer North American revenues. With the U.S. residential activity slowing down in the second half of 2013, the demand for Masco’s products has begun to decline. Despite the near-term weakness, we have faith in the company’s strong fundamentals. We are encouraged by Masco’s continued focus on product innovation and cost improvements. We, therefore, maintain our Neutral recommendation on the stock.”

Manulife Financial (NYSE:MFC) had its neutral rating reissued by analysts at Zacks. They currently have a $21.00 price target on the stock. Zacks’ analyst wrote, “Manulife Financial’s first-quarter earnings were up 14.0% year over year. The improvement was driven by higher fee income on increased asset under management, lower hedging costs and modestly favorable currency impacts. However, less favorable tax impact was a major drag. The company is aggressively developing its business in Asia, which remains crucial to long-term growth. Manulife also enjoys a solid position in the global markets, and has effectively reduced exposure to potential equity markets as well as interest rate risks. It has also renewed its focus on less capital intensive lines of business while maintaining adequate regulatory risk-adjusted capitalization. In addition, Manulife has successfully witnessed strong growth in its assets under management. However, the persistently low interest rate environment and foreign exchange exposure will continue to be a headwind. We thus maintain our Neutral recommendation on the company.”

Midstates Petroleum Company (NYSE:MPO) had its buy rating reissued by analysts at SunTrust. SunTrust currently has a $12.00 target price on the stock, up from their previous target price of $10.00.

Micron Technology (NYSE:MU) had its outperform rating reaffirmed by analysts at Zacks. Zacks currently has a $39.00 target price on the stock. Zacks’ analyst wrote, “We are encouraged by Micron’s strong third-quarter fiscal 2014 results. The results were primarily boosted by higher revenues and an improving PC DRAM pricing environment. Moreover, Micron provided a modest guidance for the forthcoming quarter. The company is also optimistic about supply/demand balance for DRAM and NAND memory chips in 2014, which should support prices. Micron is also positive about its product launches and growing demand for its products, particularly SSD products. Additionally, the acquisition of Elpida and Rexchip will benefit Micron’s share in the memory market. However, it may not be easy for Micron to capture share from SanDisk Corp., a key player in the NAND space. Nevertheless, support from Apple and Intel Corp., its prime NAND customers, will help Micron going forward. Thus, we reiterate our Outperform recommendation for the stock.”

Natural Resource (NYSE:NRP) had its neutral rating reissued by analysts at Zacks. The firm currently has a $17.00 target price on the stock. Zacks’ analyst wrote, “Natural Resource Partners LP’s earnings and revenue marginally surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimates in the first quarter of 2014 as lower production from lessees impacted the partnership’s results. Going forward, the partnership stands to benefit from its continued efforts to increase its unconventional asset base. Natural Resource Partners’ efforts to develop its operations at the low-cost Illinois Basin will bode well for its future growth given the basin’s proximity to supply terminals. Meanwhile, the supply glut in the global metallurgical coal market will likely erode given the increased global steel demand. This will certainly act as a catalyst to production volume by lessees, which in turn would boost the partnership’s revenue base. However, tighter environmental legislation and lower distribution offering might limit the partnership’s growth opportunities. We retain our Neutral recommendation on the stock.”

Prosperity Bancshares (NYSE:PB) had its neutral rating reaffirmed by analysts at Zacks. Zacks currently has a $64.00 target price on the stock. Zacks’ analyst wrote, “Prosperity Bancshares’ first-quarter 2014 earnings outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Results benefited mainly from increased revenues and lower provision for credit losses, which was however, partly offset by a rise in expenses. Further, while improvement in loan and deposit balances was the tailwind, asset quality was a mixed bag. We believe that synergies from acquisitions and organic expansion will continue to benefit the company going forward. Additionally, a strong balance sheet position will likely enable Prosperity Bancshares to deploy capital meaningfully. However, a still low interest-rate environment, rising operating expenses, significant exposure to the real estate loan portfolio and stringent regulations will likely weigh on the company’s financials in the near term.”

Patterson-UTI Energy (NASDAQ:PTEN) had its neutral rating reaffirmed by analysts at Zacks. They currently have a $35.00 target price on the stock. Zacks’ analyst wrote, “We are maintaining our Neutral recommendation on Patterson-UTI Energy shares, reflecting this onshore contract dealer’s balanced outlook. Buoyed by Patterson-UTI’s growing premium land rig fleet and the expected demand growth for such services we think that the current valuation is fair and adequately reflects its growth prospects. However, we remain wary of increased operating expenses that may lead to slower margin growth going forward. Finally, Patterson-UTI is faced with volatile natural gas fundamentals, which are expected to limit its ability to generate positive earnings surprises.”

Ross Stores (NASDAQ:ROST) had its neutral rating reissued by analysts at Zacks. Zacks currently has a $70.00 target price on the stock. Zacks’ analyst wrote, “We are impressed with Ross Stores’ off-price business model that creates a strong value proposition for its target customers. We believe the company’s ongoing merchandise improvement and inventory management initiatives bode well for future growth. Moreover, its focus on store expansion, along with consistent share buybacks and attractive dividend payouts highlight its financial strength. However, the company posted lower-than-expected first-quarter fiscal 2014 results with both top and bottom lines falling short of the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Moreover, the company provided cautious outlook for the upcoming quarter as well as for fiscal 2014 due to an uncertain economic scenario and a distressed retail market. This prevents us from being much optimistic about the stock at least for the near term, keeping our Neutral stance intact.”

SEI Investments (NASDAQ:SEIC) had its neutral rating reiterated by analysts at Zacks. They currently have a $34.00 target price on the stock. Zacks’ analyst wrote, “SEI Investments’ first-quarter 2014 earnings marginally beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Results benefited from growth in top line, partially offset by increase in expenses. Further, improvement in assets under management was the other highlight. Overall, the company has been witnessing a rising trend in revenues in the past several quarters. Also, robust asset inflows will prove accretive to its overall growth in the coming quarters. Enhanced capital deployment activities remain impressive too. However, high dependence on fee-based revenues, a sluggish economic recovery and stringent regulatory landscape will continue to partly mitigate its profitability in the upcoming quarters.”

Sunoco Logistics Partners L.P. (NYSE:SXL) had its neutral rating reiterated by analysts at Zacks. They currently have a $49.00 target price on the stock. Zacks’ analyst wrote, “We are maintaining our Neutral recommendation on units of Sunoco Logistics Partners purely on valuation grounds, as we see limited near term price upside. Notwithstanding the recent decline in its crude margin business, Sunoco Logistics continues to implement its growth plan. Importantly, the partnership has augmented its cash distribution for 36 consecutive quarters. With its stable fee-based revenue, geographically-diverse assets and strong business fundamentals, Sunoco Logistics offers investors an opportunity to capture income growth through steadily rising cash distributions and capital appreciation. However, tepid demand for refined products and the difficult operating environment remain key areas of concern, in our view. As such, we see the unit performing in line with the broader market. “

USG (NYSE:USG) had its buy rating reaffirmed by analysts at SunTrust. They currently have a $36.00 price target on the stock, down from their previous price target of $38.00.

Web.com Group (NASDAQ:WWWW) had its buy rating reaffirmed by analysts at SunTrust. They currently have a $34.00 target price on the stock, down from their previous target price of $38.00.

Zumiez (NASDAQ:ZUMZ) had its neutral rating reiterated by analysts at Zacks. The firm currently has a $29.00 target price on the stock. Zacks’ analyst wrote, “Zumiez posted better-than-expected first-quarter fiscal 2014 bottom-line results that was double the Zacks Consensus Estimate. The results gained from strong top line growth benefiting from the company’s successful execution of long-term growth strategies and the strength of its distinguished and varied assortments. Furthermore, we remain encouraged by the company’s May comps performance. Going forward, we believe that Zumiez’s store expansion policy, along with improvement of its omni-channel capabilities will help boost the company’s top and bottom lines. However, we are not very constructive on the stock due to intense competition from rival specialty retailers, the seasonal nature of the business and risks related to sourcing merchandise from foreign countries, which may undermine the company’s results. Thus, we retain our long-term Neutral recommendation on the stock.”

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