Investment Analysts’ Ratings Reiterations for September, 1st (BK, CMA, DG, DY, EA, FST, HD, JBLU, JWN, LB)
The Bank of New York Mellon (NYSE:BK) had its neutral rating reaffirmed by analysts at Zacks. Zacks currently has a $41.00 price target on the stock. Zacks’ analyst wrote, “BNY Mellon’s second-quarter earnings surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate. The quarter benefited from higher investment management & performance fees, partially offset by a decline in net interest revenues and higher expenses. Moreover, an improvement in the asset position aided results. The fervent restructuring initiatives and acquisitions undertaken by the company along with its prudent expense management will propel top line growth going forward. Moreover, a robust capital position and enhanced capital deployment activities will continue to boost investors’ confidence. However, litigation costs and additional expenses driven by increased restructuring activities will keep the top line under pressure in the near term. Also, a persistently low interest rate environment and slow economic recovery are expected to weigh on the company’s profitability.”
Comerica (NYSE:CMA) had its neutral rating reiterated by analysts at Zacks. The firm currently has a $53.00 price target on the stock. Zacks’ analyst wrote, “Comerica continued the trend of impressive operating earnings as it outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate in second-quarter 2014. Earnings were also higher than the prior-year quarter figure. Results reflected declining expenses and lower provision for credit losses, partially offset by a fall in top line. The company’s healthy capital position, improving credit quality and steady capital deployment activities were the other positives in the quarter. Going forward, we believe that continuous geographic diversification beyond the company’s traditional and slower-growing Midwest markets could drive growth over the coming quarters. However, an unsettled economic environment, regulatory overhangs and pressure on net interest margin continue to be concerns.”
Dollar General Corp. (NYSE:DG) had its neutral rating reissued by analysts at Zacks. The firm currently has a $67.00 price target on the stock.
Dycom Industries (NYSE:DY) had its underperform rating reaffirmed by analysts at Zacks. Zacks currently has a $28.00 price target on the stock. Zacks’ analyst wrote, “We are reaffirming our Underperform recommendation on Dycom Industries with a target price of $28. This specialty contracting firm reported modest fourth-quarter 2014 results. The company’s business is dependent upon the level of capital expenditures. Recently, the ongoing changes in the telecommunications industry are leading to uncertainty in capital expenditure levels which can prove to be a headwind for the company. Further, unpredictable weather conditions can weigh on its margins significantly. However, the company has been benefiting from growing demand for high-speed mobile Internet and 4G/LTE services which remains a positive.”
Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA) had its outperform rating reaffirmed by analysts at Zacks. The firm currently has a $45.00 price target on the stock. Zacks’ analyst wrote, “Electronic Arts reported better-than-expected first-quarter 2015 results, comfortably beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate on both lines. Management provided an optimistic second-quarter and full-year guidance based on a strong digital product portfolio. Despite intensifying competition, we believe that EA’s strong digital portfolio and continuing growth in the tablet and smartphone markets are the key growth catalysts. The company’s strong portfolio of games and new consoles will continue to boost its market share. Moreover, its efforts to optimize costs through overhead reductions will be beneficial in the long run. However, higher consumer spending on new consoles will continue to hurt software sales in the near term. Nevertheless, we believe that EA’s innovative product pipeline will drive market share in fiscal 2015. Thus, we reiterate our Outperform recommendation and set a price target of $45.00. “
Forest Oil (NYSE:FST) had its neutral rating reiterated by analysts at Zacks. They currently have a $1.75 target price on the stock. Zacks’ analyst wrote, “We have reiterated our Neutral recommendation on Forest Oil. The company’s effort to expand its liquid production in order to maximize its margin is gaining traction. Forest Oil has a growing upstream presence in the emerging basins of Texas, Canada and Mexico. Eagle Ford’s core acreage position in the play’s Gonzales and Wilson Counties has produced some of the most proven inexhaustible wells to date. Going forward, we believe that attractive economics in the new shallow oil zones in the Texas Panhandle, including the Missourian Wash and the Cleveland formations, will help it gain momentum. However, the company’s highly leveraged balance sheet and higher spending level remain concerns. Moreover, Forest Oil is highly exposed to volatile natural gas fundamentals, which might impact the company’s performance. “
The Home Depot (NYSE:HD) had its neutral rating reiterated by analysts at Zacks. The firm currently has a $98.00 price target on the stock. Zacks’ analyst wrote, “Home Depot posted sturdy results for second quarter fiscal 2014 driven by recovery in its spring season sales as well as strength in its core store activities and in all geographies. Following the strong performance, management raised its earnings forecast for fiscal 2014 but reiterated its sales guidance. We expect Home Depot’s focus on developing merchandising tools and increasing investment in e-Commerce to boost its top line and increase market share. Moreover, we believe that the company is on track to achieve its long-term dividend payout, share repurchase and return on investment targets. However, we remain slightly cautious about the stock due to a soft economic recovery impacting discretionary spending, and intense competition from specialty stores and mass retailers. Thus, we retain our long-term Neutral recommendation on the stock.”
JetBlue Airways (NASDAQ:JBLU) had its neutral rating reissued by analysts at Zacks. Zacks currently has a $13.00 target price on the stock. Zacks’ analyst wrote, “We maintain our Neutral recommendation on JetBlue Airways. The company remains committed to improve its return on invested capital based on revenue maximization, cost control efforts and strengthening of its balance sheet. Network expansion and increased focus on differentiated product offerings is expected to drive the company’s performance. We believe the recent slot wins in Reagan Washington National Airport, in addition to JetBlue’s emphasis on expansion in major growth regions like Boston, Fort Lauderdale, the Caribbean and Latin America, will support future growth. Moreover, elimination of certain long haul flights, fleet re-designing, cost-saving moves and lucrative strategic partnerships are expected to create tailwinds for JetBlue going ahead. However, increased price competition from rivals, rising pilot compensation and rise in other operating expenses remain major concerns for JetBlue. Further, divesting the LiveTV unit will negatively affect the carrier’s revenues somewhat.”
Nordstrom (NYSE:JWN) had its neutral rating reiterated by analysts at Zacks. The firm currently has a $73.00 price target on the stock. Zacks’ analyst wrote, “We are encouraged by Nordstrom’s better-than-expected second-quarter fiscal 2014 results. The company’s customer strategy continued to flourish reflecting growth across channels, along with efficient inventory and expense management. Moreover, we believe that the company’s store expansion initiatives and entry into the Canadian market will boost its top-line in the long run. However, the company’s projections for fiscal 2014 reflect higher costs across the board due to the ongoing investments, which will likely weigh on its margins in the short run. Moreover, we are cautious about the company’s growth prospects due to the soft economic recovery, intense competition and exposure to seasonal fluctuations. Hence, we retain our long-term Neutral recommendation on the stock.”
Occidental Petroleum (NYSE:OXY) had its neutral rating reissued by analysts at Zacks. Zacks currently has a $109.00 target price on the stock. Zacks’ analyst wrote, “Occidental Petroleum’s earnings and revenues in second-quarter 2014 surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate and increased from the prior-year figures. The outperformance was primarily driven by better realized prices of the products sold and strong domestic production volume as a result of robust contribution from the Californian as well as Permian operations. The company’s BridgeTex Pipeline and the Al Hosn Gas projects are progressing well and are expected to boost future cash flow. The company’s efforts to reduce debts, an effective share repurchase program and payment of dividends, at regular intervals are appreciable. However, stringent government regulations and volatility in commodity prices are major causes of concern. Thus, we are maintaining our Neutral recommendation on the stock.”
POSCO (NYSE:PKX) had its neutral rating reissued by analysts at Zacks. They currently have a $87.00 price target on the stock. Zacks’ analyst wrote, “POSCO’s net income more than doubled year over year in second-quarter 2014, with earnings coming in at $1.36 per ADR. Revenues grew 7.1% on the back of higher crude steel production, finished products sales and export sales. Cost of sales increased 8.3% while gross margin fell by 110 basis points (bps). Selling and administrative expenses climbed 1.9%. Liabilities-to-equity ratio fell 370 bps to 86.8%. In the third quarter, domstic steel demand is expected to be impacted by lower demand from automobile, home appliance and shipping industries. For 2014, revenue guidance has been increased marginally to KRW 64.5 trillion, while that for finished product sales and crude steel production have been trimmed. Considering all these factors, we currently maintain a Neutral recommendation on POSCO.”
Pall Corp. (NYSE:PLL) had its neutral rating reissued by analysts at Zacks. Zacks currently has a $89.00 target price on the stock. Zacks’ analyst wrote, “Pall Corporation is a leading manufacturer and marketer of filtration, separation and purification products. We are reaffirming our Neutral recommendation on Pall with a target price of $89.00. Pall reported strong fourth-quarter results with growth across both top and bottom lines. The company benefited from its improved operational execution and cost-reduction initiatives, despite the prevalent volatility in the global economy. The company is benefiting from strength in its LifeSciences segment, recovering economic conditions and strategic acquisitions. However, unfavorable foreign currency translation and an uncertain global economic environment remain headwinds for the company.”
St. Jude Medical (NYSE:STJ) had its neutral rating reaffirmed by analysts at Zacks. They currently have a $69.00 target price on the stock. Zacks’ analyst wrote, “St. Jude’s 2014-second quarter adjusted earnings per share rose 6.25% to $1.02 and beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by a couple of cents as well as its own guidance. Revenues increased 3.2% and also exceeded the mark by $12 million. The company’s upgraded guidance for full year 2014 is encouraging. Strong international growth should continue to aid overall revenue growth for the company. The recent CardioMEMS and NeuroTherm acquisitions are expected to boost growth in its cardiovascular and Neuromodulation segments. However, St. Jude faces increased competitive and pricing pressures, as well as currency fluctuations and other macroeconomic headwinds. Therefore, we reiterate our Neutral recommendation on St. Jude and set a price target of $69.00.”
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