Research Analysts’ Ratings Reiterations for August, 25th (ACE, ACM, BBT, CHTR, CIG, CRM, EEP, GME, HPQ, KIRK)
ACE Limited (NYSE:ACE) had its outperform rating reiterated by analysts at Zacks. Zacks currently has a $126.00 price target on the stock. Zacks’ analyst wrote, “ACE Limited’s second-quarter earnings per share surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate as well as year-ago number. Solid underwriting performances coupled with improved investment results aided the outperformance. Premium revenue grew globally. The company continues to benefit from a better commercial P&C pricing environment in the U.S., enjoying another quarter of rate increase. Its inorganic story seems impressive as well with suitable acquisitions in its pipeline. ACE Limited expects the acquisitions to meet or exceed its long-term return on equity goal of 15% within the next few years. Its capital position is also strong and allows it to remain committed to shareholders’ value enhancement with regular dividend hikes and a $2 billion share buyback program. ACE Limited eyes the repurchase of $1.5 billion worth of shares by 2014 end. The company also scores strongly with credit rating agencies. “
AECOM Technology Corp (NYSE:ACM) had its neutral rating reissued by analysts at Zacks. The firm currently has a $39.00 price target on the stock. Zacks’ analyst wrote, “AECOM is a provider of professional, technical and management support services. We are reiterating our Neutral recommendation with a target price of $39. The company reported modest third-quarter fiscal 2014 results with earnings coming in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate. However, top line declined due to weak performances of the Management Support Services business. The company’s backlog levels remain strong, with the MSS business starting to benefit from the restructuring initiatives. The recent deal with URS Corp is also likely to be accretive for the company. However, this acquisition is expected to substantially drive up the company’s debt levels, which can weigh on its financials in the short term.”
BB&T Corp. (NYSE:BBT) had its neutral rating reiterated by analysts at Zacks. They currently have a $38.50 target price on the stock. Zacks’ analyst wrote, “BB&T’s second-quarter 2014 earnings lagged the Zacks Consensus Estimate owing to a decline in revenues and higher operating expenses. Nevertheless, the negatives were partially mitigated by lower provision from loan losses. We believe that the company s growth trajectory, with steady progress on both the organic and inorganic fronts, remains impressive. Further, the company s strong capital position and improved credit quality are expected to supplement growth going forward. However, sluggish economic recovery, elevated expenses, a still low interest rate environment, wide exposure to problem assets and various regulatory issues will likely make it difficult for BB&T to significantly improve its financials in the near term.”
Charter Communications (NASDAQ:CHTR) had its neutral rating reissued by analysts at Zacks. They currently have a $163.00 price target on the stock. Zacks’ analyst wrote, “We reiterate our long-trm Neutral recommendation on Charter Communications. The company reported mixed financial results for the second quarter of 2014. While net income significantly fell below the Zacks Consensus Estimate, total revenue was in line with the same. Unlike most of the cable TV operators, the company improved its video, Internet and telephony subscribers churn rate year-over-year in the reported quarter and its average revenue per user also increased 1.93% year over year. Digital penetration rate was 96.1%. We believe that Charter Communications recent agreement to take over cable TV customers from Comcast will significantly benefit the company over the long-term. Meanwhile, the stock price has soared more than 33% in the last year and is currently trading at the high-end of 52-week price range. We believe that Charter Communications is fairly valued at this stage.”
Companhia Energetica Minas Gerais (NYSE:CIG) had its neutral rating reiterated by analysts at Zacks. They currently have a $9.00 price target on the stock. Zacks’ analyst wrote, “CEMIG’s net income soared 45% year over year in second-quarter 2014. Earnings came in at $0.30 per ADR. Revenues grew 38% due to 4% increase in electricity sold to final consumers and a 14% hike in the average price. Operating expenses rose 27%, partially offsetting top-line growth. Stake acquisitions in Madeira and Retiro Baixo plant will enhance CEMIG’s generation capacity going forward. In addition, the company has signed agreements for stake increase in Gasmig and construction of 25 wind farms. Also, the payment of dividends and interest in equity will increase shareholders’ return. However, rising operating expenses, governmental interference and dependence on hydro sources for electricity might prove to be potential headwinds for the company. Thus, we maintain a Neutral recommendation on CEMIG.”
salesforce.com, inc. (NYSE:CRM) had its neutral rating reiterated by analysts at Zacks. The firm currently has a $63.00 price target on the stock. Zacks’ analyst wrote, “Salesforce’s adjusted loss per share in second-quarter fiscal 2015 was wider than the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Revenues increased on a year-over-year basis, primarily due to growth across all it business segments. The company provided positive third-quarter revenue guidance and raised fiscal 2015 guidance as well. We consider the rapid adoption of Salesforce1 Customer Platform to be a positive for the company. Overall, the company’s diverse cloud offerings and strong spending on digital marketing remain catalysts. Although the company is growing reasonably in the cloud market, growth prospects have been rationalized to a considerable extent due to intensifying competition. Currency fluctuations and an increase in investments for international expansions and data centers could impact near-term results. Thus, we reiterate our Neutral recommendation on the stock.”
Enbridge Energy Partners, L.P. (NYSE:EEP) had its neutral rating reissued by analysts at Zacks. They currently have a $38.00 target price on the stock. Zacks’ analyst wrote, “We are maintaining our Neutral recommendation on Enbridge Energy units. The partnership’s second quarter earnings and revenues missed estimates, mainly due to soft natural gas liquids price realization and throughput. However, we like the partnership’s diversified business portfolio, stable fee-based operating income and strong liquidity position. A focus on fee-based and diversified businesses has enabled Enbridge Energy Partners to dilute its business risks, as well as provide a stable earnings profile. We also remain positive on Enbridge given its exposure to the Bakken Shale, the Haynesville Shale and Granite Wash. Enbridge’s organic growth program is also impressive, and its commitment to returning value to unitholders is reflected through its 2-5% distribution growth guidance going forward. “
GameStop Corp. (NYSE:GME) had its neutral rating reaffirmed by analysts at Zacks. The firm currently has a $45.00 target price on the stock.
Kirkland's (NASDAQ:KIRK) had its neutral rating reaffirmed by analysts at Zacks. The firm currently has a $18.00 target price on the stock. Zacks’ analyst wrote, “Kirkland’s posted second quarter loss of $0.06 per share was wider than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of $0.04 as well as the year-ago loss of $0.03. Although top line improved year over year by 6.6% backed by higher comps, it missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 1.4%. Lower than expected sales in June resulted in lower than expected sales. We believe the slowdown in the home building sector could affect the demand for the company’s home furnishing products in next few quarters. Moreover, continued slag in consumer spending in the U.S. due to slowdown in the economy keeps us from being too positive on the stock. However the growing e-commerce business of the company and its aggressive store opening program keep us on the sidelines “
Mastercard (NYSE:MA) had its overweight rating reiterated by analysts at Morgan Stanley. Morgan Stanley currently has a $88.00 price target on the stock. The analysts wrote, “As noted in several press articles last week, MA confirmed that it will be implementing new issuer fees related to tokenization of card accounts.The new fees will include a $0.50 digitization fee, which will be collected from issuers for each instance that a mobile device is provisioned with a tokenized payment credential. MA will also charge issuers a $0.10 monthly fee per digitized/tokenized account per device for what they are calling as ‘Digital Enablement Service Lifecycle Management’. For Maestro accounts (that have an unaffiliated signature brand in the front), the service fee will be $0.025 per account per month. These fees are expected to take effect on September 1.”
Medivation (NASDAQ:MDVN) had its neutral rating reaffirmed by analysts at Zacks. The firm currently has a $89.00 target price on the stock. Zacks’ analyst wrote, “Medivation posted earnings of $0.60 per share in the second quarter of 2014, turning around the year-ago loss of $0.07 per share and easily beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $0.28 per share. Revenues came in at $148.1 million, up 111.1% from the year-ago period, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $129 million. Medivation’s second quarter results were strong with Xtandi performing well again. Moreover, the increased Xtandi guidance is encouraging – this is the second time this year that the company raised its guidance for Xtandi. Xtandi could very well be a game-changer for Medivation. The prostate cancer market represents huge commercial potential. Expansion into the pre-chemo setting would be a major positive for Medivation. We remain Neutral on the stock.”
Monsanto Company (NYSE:MON) had its outperform rating reaffirmed by analysts at Morgan Stanley. They currently have a $141.00 price target on the stock, down from their previous price target of $148.00. The analysts wrote, “Based on revised ‘soft guidance’ of earnings growth below the standard 15% to 20% range, we are revising our FY15 EPS estimate to $5.90. The primary reason for our downward revision results from decreasing volume estimates within the corn S&G segment in addition to a slight decline in the ag productivity segment. We are implementing a FY16 EPS estimate of $7.20. Our price target goes to $141, which is 20x our normalized FY18 EPS of $8.40, discounted back.”
Marathon Petroleum Corp (NYSE:MPC) had its neutral rating reiterated by analysts at Zacks. The firm currently has a $95.00 price target on the stock. Zacks’ analyst wrote, “We are maintaining our Neutral recommendation on Marathon Petroleum shares. We like Marathon for its scale advantage, impressive asset quality and extensive midstream/retail network. We believe management’s steady dividend increases, ongoing share repurchase program, and recent acquisition of BP’s Texas City refinery could further boost shareholder value. Finally, MPC’s decision to buy Hess’ retail biz will expand its fuel trading operations. However, we think the current valuation is fair and adequately reflects the company’s future growth prospects. Moreover, Marathon’s core business – refining – is faced with a high degree of volatility, while being capital intensive. This is expected to limit its ability to generate positive earnings surprises. As a result, our long-term total return expectation for Marathon remains muted. “
Murphy Oil (NYSE:MUR) had its hold rating reissued by analysts at Deutsche Bank. They currently have a $75.00 price target on the stock, down from their previous price target of $80.00.
Pandora Media (NYSE:P) had its buy rating reaffirmed by analysts at MKM Partners.
Plum Creek Timber Co. (NYSE:PCL) had its underperform rating reaffirmed by analysts at Zacks. They currently have a $37.00 price target on the stock.
PennyMac Mortgage Investment Trust (NYSE:PMT) had its buy rating reissued by analysts at Bank of America. They currently have a $24.00 price target on the stock, up from their previous price target of $22.50.
QUALCOMM (NASDAQ:QCOM) had its neutral rating reaffirmed by analysts at Zacks. They currently have a $81.00 target price on the stock. Zacks’ analyst wrote, “Qualcomm reported robust financial results for the third quarter of fiscal 2014. Both the top and the bottom line significantly outpaced the respective Zacks Consensus Estimate. However, Qualcomm is facing challenges related to its licensing business in China. Management stated that the company is currently in royalty dispute with a major customer in that country. Moreover, some small companies are yet to agree on royalty payment. Some companies are also under-reporting the amount of phones sold, for which they should have paid license fees. Meanwhile, Qualcomm’s latest chipsets for WiFi, RF360, multimode 3G and 4G LTE from its flagship Snapdragon platform have been doing extremely well. The company leads the global mobile baseband chipset market. We believe the stock is currently fairly valued and therefore, reaffirm our Neutral recommendation. “
QTS Realty Trust (NYSE:QTS) had its hold rating reiterated by analysts at Deutsche Bank. Deutsche Bank currently has a $28.00 target price on the stock, up from their previous target price of $27.00.
Qunar Cayman Islands (NASDAQ:QUNR) had its neutral rating reiterated by analysts at Macquarie. They currently have a $30.00 price target on the stock, up from their previous price target of $22.00.
Santander Consumer USA Holdings (NYSE:SC) had its neutral rating reaffirmed by analysts at Macquarie. Macquarie currently has a $21.00 price target on the stock, down from their previous price target of $22.00.
The Valspar (NYSE:VAL) had its neutral rating reissued by analysts at Zacks. They currently have a $84.00 price target on the stock.
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