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Investment Analysts’ ratings reiterations for Friday, August 29th:

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) had its neutral rating reiterated by analysts at Zacks. The firm currently has a $107.00 price target on the stock. Zacks’ analyst wrote, “Apple reported mixed third-quarter 2014 results with earnings comfortably beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate despite modest growth in revenues. Strong iPhone and Mac sales drove robust performance in China. The company’s growing market share in the BRIC countries as well as in the emerging nations is a major positive. The partnership with China Mobile will continue to boost iPhone sales in China. Although iPad reported a dismal quarter, its growing adoption in enterprises sector is positive. The partnership with IBM will improve Apple’s position in the enterprise market. However, the company continues to face significant competition from Asian handset makers, such as Samsung. Moreover, ongoing litigation issues remain an overhang on the stock. We, therefore, maintain our Neutral recommendation on the stock and set a price target of $107.00. “

Arrow Electronics (NYSE:ARW) had its neutral rating reaffirmed by analysts at Zacks. The firm currently has a $65.00 price target on the stock. Zacks’ analyst wrote, “Arrow posted better-than-expected second-quarter results. Results also improved year over year and Arrow had a favorable book to bill ratio. Moreover, positive commentary about enhanced productivity and continued higher contributions from Europe are encouraging. However, the company provided modest third-quarter guidance. Additionally, incremental sales from strategic acquisitions, such as Computerlinks, are expected to boost Arrow’s top line, going forward. However, uncertain economic conditions and competition from Avnet and Ingram Micro, and a leveraged balance sheet are concerns, going forward. Thus, we reiterate our Neutral recommendation on Arrow.”

Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK) had its outperform rating reaffirmed by analysts at Zacks. They currently have a $163.00 price target on the stock. Zacks’ analyst wrote, “Berkshire Hathaway’s second-quarter earnings came in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Earnings also improved year over year. The earnings growth came from an increase in revenue across all segments. The company’s energy, insurance manufacturing and service, and finance and financial products segments are all performing well. A huge cash hoard along with the investment acumen of Warren Buffett also makes strategic acquisitions easy. However, the company has witnessed fluctuating earnings between the quarters due to heavy exposure to stock option derivatives. Also, lack of clarity on chairman Buffett’s succession prevails. Nevertheless, a solid balance sheet, adequate liquidity and a consistent trend of growing book value are some of the other positives of the company. We thus maintain our Outperform recommendation on the stock.”

Dillard's (NYSE:DDS) had its neutral rating reissued by analysts at Zacks. Zacks currently has a $121.00 price target on the stock. Zacks’ analyst wrote, “Dillard’s continues with its efforts to capitalize on growth opportunities in its brick and mortar stores and e-Commerce business which will help it retain existing customers while attracting new ones. We expect the company’s top and bottom lines to gain from its focus on increasing productivity at existing stores, developing a leading omni-channel platform and enhancing its domestic operations in the years ahead. However, we remain skeptical about the company’s near-term performance as its lower-than-expected second-quarter fiscal 2014 results were a letdown. Further, the company’s outlook for the fiscal year failed to give solace to investors. We are also apprehensive about soft economic recovery and intense competition that may prove to be hurdles. Therefore, we reiterate our long-term Neutral recommendation on the stock.”

Halliburton Company (NYSE:HAL) had its neutral rating reissued by analysts at Zacks. Zacks currently has a $71.00 price target on the stock. Zacks’ analyst wrote, “We are maintaining our Neutral recommendation on oilfield services behemoth Halliburton. The company has been benefiting from higher activity in the international markets, which has more than made up for sluggish North American operations. In fact, Halliburton expects the strong demand trend in international markets to continue in the coming years. Halliburton’s inexpensive valuation and the favorable DOJ verdict over the company’s role in the Macondo oil spill lend additional support. Nevertheless, we are staying on the sidelines given the increased pricing pressure in its North American operations, oversupply in the pressure pumping business and a sharp run-up in its stock price. “

Harley-Davidson (NYSE:HOG) had its neutral rating reissued by analysts at Zacks. Zacks currently has a $67.00 target price on the stock. Zacks’ analyst wrote, “Harley-Davidson recorded a 33.9% increase in earnings to $1.62 per share in the second quarter of 2014, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.46. Consolidated revenues improved 11.7% to $2 billion, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.84 billion. Harley-Davidson enjoys a significant share of the U.S. motorcycle market. The company’s sales are rising and efficient capital deployment is boosting shareholder value. Although restructuring initiatives have increased savings, we are concerned about the aging customer base, expensive products, declining operating income from Harley-Davidson Financial Services and intense competition. Hence, we are maintaining our Neutral recommendation. “

Hormel Foods Corp (NYSE:HRL) had its neutral rating reissued by analysts at Zacks. They currently have a $53.00 price target on the stock. Zacks’ analyst wrote, “Hormel Foods reported strong results for the third-quarter fiscal 2014, with earnings increasing 21.4% year over year to $0.51 per share. Revenues increased 5.8% to $2.3 billion as some segments recorded impressive growth. Inorganic growth from the acquisition of Skippy peanut butter line continues to be a significant aid. Further, the company has been involved in a lot of advertising campaigns, leading to increased brand awareness and thus, boosting sales. It has also acquired CytoSport Holdings recently, which will boost growth prospects for the company’s Specialty Foods segment. However, raw material prices for beef, pork, turkey and avocado are expected to increase in the quarters ahead due to shortage of supply, impacting earnings per share negatively. Therefore, we prefer to remain on the sidelines and maintain a Neutral stance on the company.”

Henry Schein (NASDAQ:HSIC) had its neutral rating reissued by analysts at Zacks. Zacks currently has a $125.00 price target on the stock. Zacks’ analyst wrote, “Henry Schein’s adjusted EPS of $1.35 in the second-quarter of 2014 increased 9.8% year over year and also beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 1.5%. Revenues rose 9.3% to $2.62 billion, edging past the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 1.8%. Animal Health continued to perform well while the core dental business picked up. The recent strategic acquisitions are expected to add value to the business. With the animal health market growing at a rapid pace and showcasing favorable trends, we are confident about further sales improvement. However, the overall macroeconomic uncertainty remains as overhang. Further, intense competition and currency fluctuations warrant caution. Moreover, as GPOs gain prominence, pricing pressure is inevitable. We still believe that the company’s diversified distribution business offers resilience against macroeconomic volatility. Thus, we remain Neutral on the stock. “

JAKKS Pacific (NASDAQ:JAKK) had its neutral rating reiterated by analysts at Zacks. They currently have a $7.00 price target on the stock. Zacks’ analyst wrote, “JAKKS Pacific’s second-quarter loss of $0.38 per share was in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate. However, losses were narrower than the year-ago loss of $2.14, driven by better-than-expected top-line performance. Revenues increased almost 17% year over year and beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 10%. This jump in sales was driven primarily by the success of its Frozen product line. This was complemented by a general rise in Disney Princess dolls and dress up products, seasonal outdoor products, ride-ons, ball pits, and the increased sales of the company’s Halloween costume and accessories unit – Disguise, Inc. Going forward, we commend the company’s product launches and organic growth initiatives, such as creating new products and securing licenses. However, we prefer to remain on the sidelines currently, given the weak consumer spending amid a sluggishly recovering economy and intense competition. We maintain our Neutral recommendation on the stock.”

Michael Kors Holdings (NASDAQ:KORS) had its outperform rating reissued by analysts at Zacks. They currently have a $89.00 target price on the stock. Zacks’ analyst wrote, “Michael Kors continues with its fabulous run as the company displayed yet another stellar quarterly performance. The company’s first-quarter fiscal 2015 earnings per share of $0.91 beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 12% while rising 49% year over year. Revenues of $919 million beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by nearly 8% and grew 43% year over year. Further, the company posted positive comps for the 33rd straight quarter. We remain impressed by Michael Kors’ product diversification strategy, store expansion drive and foray into international markets. Additionally, the company’s debt free balance sheet provides ample financial flexibility to capitalize on growth opportunities. Considering all these factors, we reiterate our long term Outperform recommendation on the stock.”

Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE:LVS) had its neutral rating reaffirmed by analysts at Zacks. The firm currently has a $71.00 target price on the stock. Zacks’ analyst wrote, “Las Vegas Sands posted lower-than-expected second quarter results. Adjusted earnings of $0.85 per share missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 4.5%, possibly due to a sluggish Macau market. Quarterly net revenue of $3.62 billion also missed the consensus mark by 5%. The slowdown can be attributed to the fact that high-stake gamblers are curtailing spending amid a cooling Chinese economy. However, revenues increased 11.7% year over year owing to its solid positioning in Sands Cotai Central. Also, earnings increased 30.8% year over year driven by an increase in revenues and margins. Currently, strong growth in the mass market is mitigating the effects of a slowdown in the VIP gaming business. Despite a sluggish Chinese economy, the company’s strong brand portfolio, solid mass market revenues and increasing traffic in Macau keep it well-positioned. However, concerns related to China’s crackdown on illegal money transfers, tighter restrictions on visas and an impending smoking ban in the casinos remain. We maintain our Neutral recommendation on the stock.”

Motorola Solutions (NYSE:MSI) had its underperform rating reaffirmed by analysts at Zacks. They currently have a $54.00 price target on the stock. Zacks’ analyst wrote, “Motorola Solutions posted dismal second-quarter 2014 financial results with both the top and the bottom line missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Also, the company continues to face a downtrend in demand across different geographic regions. Moreover, lower contract wins and sluggish economic trends have forced the company to slash its outlook and divest its Enterprise Business segment. Further, declining profit has compelled Motorola Solutions to raise its cost-cutting target. Moreover, phasing out of the iDEN network will act as a headwind for the company going ahead. In our view, Motorola Solutions is currently overvalued as it is trading at the high end of the 52-week price range. We do not see any immediate growth catalyst for the company. We thus, maintain our long-term Underperform recommendation on Motorola Solutions.”

Newmont Mining Corp (NYSE:NEM) had its neutral rating reiterated by analysts at Zacks. They currently have a $28.00 price target on the stock.

OmniVision Technologies (NASDAQ:OVTI) had its outperform rating reaffirmed by analysts at Zacks. They currently have a $33.00 target price on the stock. Zacks’ analyst wrote, “OmniVision is an OEM of CMOS image sensors and support circuitry used within handsets, notebooks and other mass markets. Its first-quarter earnings beat the Zacks Consensus and guidance was also encouraging. The company has a strong position in the mobile and automotive markets and is also expanding into other areas. We like its product roadmap, growth prospects, mix shift to higher-resolution sensors, strengthening position in the fast-growing Chinese market and management execution and believe that it will be able to deal with the short product life cycles, increased competition, North America challenges and price pressures. We are therefore maintaining Outperform rating on OmniVision shares.”

Reynolds American (NYSE:RAI) had its neutral rating reaffirmed by analysts at Zacks. The firm currently has a $61.00 price target on the stock. Zacks’ analyst wrote, “Reynolds’ second-quarter 2014 earnings of $0.89 per share beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate and improved on the year-ago earnings by 2.3%. Higher cigarette and moist snuff pricing more than offset increased investment on the Vuse brand of e-cigarettes and led to the profit upswing in the quarter. Net sales however slipped 0.8% due to lower sales in the tobacco segment. Core brands like Camel, Pall Mall and Santa Fe continued to deliver strong performance. Reynolds’ continuous innovation in the smokeless and moist snuff products is helping it to maintain a dominant share in the category. Moreover, the company’s advancement in the e-cigarette category with the Vuse brand is encouraging. However, the high excise tax and anti-smoking regulations remain a persistent overhang. Again, the tobacco sector is facing declining volume for the past few quarters due to shift in demand from cigarettes to other non-tobacco products. We, therefore, prefer to stay on the sidelines “

Companhia de Saneamento Basico (NYSE:SBS) had its underperform rating reiterated by analysts at Zacks. They currently have a $8.50 price target on the stock. Zacks’ analyst wrote, “SABESP’s long-term growth prospects are bright as growing economy and population in Brazil has boosted demand for better water and sewage facilities. The company plans to capitalize on this opportunity by improving its services. It targets to achieve 100% water and 95% sewage coverage ratio by 2020. Despite these positives, poor financial performance as well as near-term risks surrounding the stock, justifies our Underperform recommendation on the stock. In second-quarter 2014, earnings came in at $0.19 per ADR, down 27% year over year. Billed water and sewage volume declined 1.8%, while costs and expenses grew 14.8%. In addition to rising expenses, foreign currency translation risks, governmental interference and dependence on electricity as a source of energy may prove to be potential headwinds. “

Staples (NASDAQ:SPLS) had its neutral rating reissued by analysts at Zacks. Zacks currently has a $12.00 target price on the stock. Zacks’ analyst wrote, “Store closures and unfavorable foreign currency fluctuations weighed on Staples second-quarter fiscal 2014 performance. Though earnings of $0.12 per share came in line with the Zacks consensus Estimate it fell 25% y-o-y. Revenues of $5,220 million did beat but fell 1.5% y-o-y. Escalating competition from online giants, deteriorating trends in core office supply products and waning international sales remain huge concerns. Further, the persistent weakness in the overall sector is putting additional pressure on revenues. Anticipating not much relief in the near term, management issued a trimmed guidance for the coming quarter. However, to combat odds, Staples has resorted to enhancing online sales and aggressive store rationalization, apart from initiating a cost reduction program. We believe that this aggressive approach by the company, which is in sync with the changing trends, will drive sales in the future. But for the time being, we prefer to remain on the sidelines and maintain our Neutral stance on the stock.”

Viacom (NASDAQ:VIAB) had its neutral rating reaffirmed by analysts at Zacks. Zacks currently has a $85.00 target price on the stock. Zacks’ analyst wrote, “Viacom reported weak financial results for the third quarter of fiscal 2014 with both the top and the bottom line missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Meanwhile, continuous improvement in viewership ratings, launch of network apps and renewal of the multi-platform deal with Time Warner Cable should drive both advertisement and affiliate revenues. Moreover, the successful release of “Transformer 4″ in the quarter coupled with a strong movie line-up should boost the company’s top line going ahead. We also believe that aggressive share buyback plans undertaken by the company will boost shareholders’ wealth. However, rising distribution expenses coupled with uncertainties in the movie business will remain a concern. We, thus, reiterate our long-term Neutral recommendation on Viacom. “

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) had its neutral rating reissued by analysts at Zacks. They currently have a $52.00 price target on the stock.

Western Digital Corp (NYSE:WDC) had its neutral rating reiterated by analysts at Zacks. The firm currently has a $107.00 target price on the stock.

Williams-Sonoma (NYSE:WSM) had its neutral rating reiterated by analysts at Zacks. Zacks currently has a $69.00 target price on the stock. Zacks’ analyst wrote, “Williams-Sonoma’s posted second-quarter 2014 adjusted earnings of $0.53 per share that was in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate and rose 8.2%. Top-line growth and operating margin increase backed the upside. Net revenue of $1.04 billion was also in-line with the Consensus mark and increased 5.8% year over year, owing to increase in brand revenues. We are encouraged by Williams-Sonoma’s strong international presence and its fast expanding international footprint. Product innovation, personalized service and strong marketing and execution drove the company’s top line and profits since late 2011. However, we remain on the sidelines as the outlook for third quarter 2014 and fiscal 2014 that were below the market expectations. In addition, with the U.S. residential activity slowing down since the second half of 2013, the demand for William Sonoma’s products could be hurt in future quarters. We therefore have a Neutral recommendation on the stock with a target price of $69.00. “

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