Analysts’ Ratings Reiterations for September, 2nd (AMP, BAX, CBG, FII, FRC, GS, HSY, MIDD, MS, NOC)
AMP Limited (ASX:AMP) had its rating reaffirmed by analysts at Morningstar. The firm currently has a $6.00 price target on the stock.
Baxter International (NYSE:BAX) had its neutral rating reissued by analysts at Zacks. The firm currently has a $79.00 target price on the stock. Zacks’ analyst wrote, “Baxter’s 2014-second quarter adjusted earnings per share of $1.26 grew 5.0% y-o-y and beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by $0.05. Revenues of $4,264 million were up 16.2% and topped the mark as well. We are impressed by the company’s upgraded revenue guidance but narrow earnings guidance for full year 2014. Although expensive, the Gambro acquisition has long term prospects for Baxter. Further, a solid product pipeline and strategic collaborations, represents key value drivers for the company. However, we are concerned about integration-related risks along with a somber outlook for hospital. As a result, we reiterate our Neutral recommendation on Baxter with a target of $79.00.”
CBRE Group (NYSE:CBG) had its neutral rating reiterated by analysts at Zacks. The firm currently has a $33.00 price target on the stock.
Federated Investors (NYSE:FII) had its underperform rating reissued by analysts at Zacks. The firm currently has a $28.00 target price on the stock. Zacks’ analyst wrote, “Federated’s second-quarter 2014 earnings came in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate. However, the results were below the prior-year figure. Lower expenses and higher equity assets were among the positives while declining top line along with fall in assets under management (AUM) were the negatives in the quarter. The company with its moderately liquid balance sheet and a diversified asset as well as product mix has good growth prospects going forward. However, the declining revenues remain a major cause for concern. Also, reduction in AUM may weigh on the company’s future growth. Moreover, stringent regulatory pressures, slow global economic growth and a low interest rate environment are expected to keep Federated’s earnings under pressure in the coming quarters.”
First Republic Bank (NYSE:FRC) had its neutral rating reiterated by analysts at Zacks. They currently have a $51.00 target price on the stock. Zacks’ analyst wrote, “First Republic’s second-quarter 2014 earnings came in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate and the prior-year quarter figure as well. Results reflected the company’s organic growth based on increase in revenues as well as deposits and loans. However, these positives were offset by a rise in expenses and provision for credit losses. We remain optimistic about the company’s prospects as its total assets are expected to reach at least $50 billion by 2015. Further, First Republic’s strong fundamentals and earnings strength are expected to drive growth in the coming quarters. However, the unsettled economy, a still low interest rate environment and stringent regulatory issues are matters of concern.”
Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) had its neutral rating reissued by analysts at Zacks. They currently have a $188.00 target price on the stock. Zacks’ analyst wrote, “Driven by strong top-line performance, Goldman’s second-quarter 2014 earnings significantly surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Moreover, results were higher than the year-ago quarter figure. Investment banking revenues were on an upswing. However, the company witnessed an increase in expenses. We expect Goldman to benefit from its well-managed global franchise, strong capital base and recent investments in the near future. Moreover, the Fed’s approval of the company’s 2014 capital plan depicts financial stability. However, regulatory issues, coupled with fundamental pressures on the banking sector, are expected to weigh on its financials in the coming quarters.”
Hershey (NYSE:HSY) had its neutral rating reaffirmed by analysts at Zacks. They currently have a $96.00 target price on the stock. Zacks’ analyst wrote, “Hershey’s second-quarter adjusted earnings of $0.76 per share were in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate and also within the preliminary range released a week before. Earnings grew 5.6% from the prior-year quarter as lower advertising costs made up for the weak gross margins and lower-than-expected sales in the U.S. due to increased competitive activity. The dramatic increase in dairy costs this year severely hurt Hershey’s gross margins in the first half of the year. In fact, management now expects fiscal 2014 results to be at the lower end of its long-term targets due to higher-than-expected dairy costs. However, the latest price increase is notable and should boost sales and profits in 2015. Moreover, Hershey’s strong brand positioning, strategic marketing investments in core brands, disciplined innovation and consumer capabilities make it attractive. We, thus, have a Neutral recommendation on the stock.”
The Middleby (NASDAQ:MIDD) had its neutral rating reaffirmed by analysts at Zacks. They currently have a $91.00 price target on the stock. Zacks’ analyst wrote, “Middleby reported strong results for second-quarter 2014, with earnings of $0.85 per share versus $0.67 earned in the year-ago quarter. Quarterly revenues rose 17% year over year to $424.8 million, driven by organic as well as inorganic growth. The acquisition of Viking along with Celfrost, Wunder-Bar, Market Forge and Processing Equipment Solutions are proving beneficial to the company. Moreover, Middleby is also increasing its market share through organic growth, with strength across all segments. However, Middleby’s overseas operations expose it to various risks including social, political and those related to foreign exchange transactions. Additionally, Middleby’s overdependence on food processing units is a cause of concern. The volatility of raw material prices also impacts the company’s strategies. Based on these factors, we prefer to have a balanced view on the stock and maintain our Neutral recommendation.”
Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) had its neutral rating reaffirmed by analysts at Zacks. Zacks currently has a $36.00 target price on the stock. Zacks’ analyst wrote, “Morgan Stanley’s second-quarter 2014 adjusted earnings from continuing operations (restated) outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate, primarily driven by growth in net interest income, stable fee income and marginally lower operating expenses. However, lower fixed-income, FICC trading income dented the results. We believe that the company’s restructuring initiatives as well as organic and inorganic expansion plans will continue to be significant growth drivers. Additionally, enhanced capital deployment activities reflect a solid balance sheet position. Nevertheless, there are concerns about the company’s financials being pressurized by the new capital requirements, elevated costs and an intense pricing competition.”
Northrop Grumman (NYSE:NOC) had its neutral rating reissued by analysts at Zacks. The firm currently has a $134.00 price target on the stock. Zacks’ analyst wrote, “We maintain our Neutral recommendation on Northrop Grumman Corp. following the second-quarter 2014 results. Although the company’s earnings missed the Street Consensus, its revenues beat the same. However, reported earnings improved from the prior year due to a decline in total operating cost and expenses while revenues were down 4.1% year over year. Foreign military sales will be the primary growth driver at Northrop Grumman offsetting the slowdown in domestic contract flows. The company’s product innovation and diversified business operations will further maintain a stable earnings stream. Also, the solid performance in the first half of 2014 has led Northrop to raise its 2014 earnings guidance. Nonetheless, a plummeting order backlog and the ramp-down of military programs remain major concerns. “
Quindell PLC (LON:QPP) had its buy rating reissued by analysts at Cenkos Securities Ltd.
Charles Schwab Corp (NASDAQ:SCHW) had its neutral rating reiterated by analysts at Zacks. They currently have a $30.00 price target on the stock. Zacks’ analyst wrote, “Schwab’s second-quarter 2014 earnings marginally beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Results benefited primarily from growth in revenues, partially offset by slightly higher operating expenses and increase in provision for loan losses. We expect continued improvement in trading revenues with increasing trading activities. Moreover, synergies from acquisitions and a stable capital position will continue to boost the company’s financials going forward. However, we remain concerned about the sluggish economic recovery, mounting expenses and a still low interest rate environment.”
Signet Jewelers (NYSE:SIG) had its buy rating reissued by analysts at Nomura. They currently have a $125.00 price target on the stock, up from their previous price target of $121.00.
Sempra Energy (NYSE:SRE) had its neutral rating reaffirmed by analysts at Zacks. The firm currently has a $111.00 target price on the stock. Zacks’ analyst wrote, “We are maintaining our Neutral recommendation on Sempra Energy following the mixed results in the second quarter of 2014. Despite missing the estimates, year-over-year improvement in both the top and bottom line, backed by higher contributions from the company’s utility businesses, is appreciable. The company’s multiple development ventures, including the Cameron Liquefaction project, its continued focus on expanding renewable capacity and systematic asset divestment program will likely boost future cash inflows. The company’s practice of paying regular dividends will also help attract more investors to the stock. However, we prefer to remain on the sidelines due to stringent government regulations and several operational risks.”
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