Analysts’ Updated EPS Estimates for October, 14th (AMT, APS, AZN, BABA, BK, CNO, DNKN, FAST, FTNT, FTR)
American Tower Corp. (NYSE:AMT) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a buy rating. Zacks Investment Research currently has $126.00 price target on the stock. According to Zacks, “American tower will benefit from increased investment of wireless carriers as they push towards deployment of 5G networks. Moreover, American Tower has been focusing on its operations in India which include acquisition of 51% control in Viom Networks and the tower deal with Bharti Airtel’s Tanzania unit. These transactions will increase the tower count as well as help the company build stronger ties with mobile network operators such as Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Idea, Tata, Reliance and Aircel. Going forward, we believe that American Tower’s buyout of towers in emerging markets should help drive its top line and lend a competitive edge over rivals. However, high customer concentration, foreign currency exchange rate risks, stiff competition, integration risks, rising operating expenses and a highly leveraged balance sheet are near-term risks.”
Aptose Biosciences (TSE:APS) had its outperform rating reaffirmed by analysts at Royal Bank Of Canada. They currently have a C$24.00 target price on the stock.
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Astrazeneca PLC (NYSE:AZN) was downgraded by analysts at TheStreet to a hold rating.
Alibaba Group Holding (NYSE:BABA) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a strong-buy rating. They currently have $117.00 price target on the stock. According to Zacks, “Alibaba Group is a Chinese e-Commerce giant which caters mainly to its native market. Alibaba Group’s fiscal first-quarter results exceeded the Zacks Consensus Estimate. The solid growth in Alibaba’s China retail and mobile business as well as strength across most of the core operating metrics aided the results. The company’s dominance in the mobile commerce market, its continued efforts to develop new products, international growth opportunities and strong financial position are all positives. However, macro headwinds, continued investments and increasing competition from Tencent Holdings and Baidu remain the overhangs.”
Bank Of New York Mellon Corp. (NYSE:BK) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a buy rating. They currently have $44.00 price target on the stock. According to Zacks, “BNY Mellon's earnings estimates have been rising lately ahead of its third quarter earnings release. Further, the company has positive record of earnings surprises in recent quarters. With dedicated global reach, the company’s diversified product mix and inorganic growth opportunities will enhance its profitability in this changing business environment. Supported by a strong balance sheet position, it continues to enhance shareholder’s value through its impressive capital deployment activities. Further, the cost-saving initiatives will help sustain earnings momentum. However, pressure on margins owing to the low-rate environment is expected to continue in the near-term. Also, higher litigation and restructuring expenses are expected to hurt the company’s bottom line growth to some extent.”
CNO Financial Group (NYSE:CNO) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a strong sell rating. According to Zacks, “CNO Financial’s low market share in some product lines might limit business opportunities and leave an adverse impact on profitability. Also the suspension of share buyback plan for this year might affect the bottom line. However, the company has been largely benefited by the Launch of new units like bankers Life Securities and Bankers Life Advisory Services that are likely to help the company in growing its retirement business. A strong capital position and efficient capital management via share buyback and dividend payout also work as strength. Technological advancement has helped the company to increase productivity, though the pressures of agent recruitment continue. The company is presently engaged in strategizing plans to reduce long-term care exposure via run-off of existing non performing businesses, reinsurance and focus on the growth of other potential business lines.”
Dunkin’ Brands Group (NASDAQ:DNKN) was upgraded by analysts at TheStreet to a buy rating.
Fastenal (NASDAQ:FAST) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a sell rating. According to Zacks, “Fastenal Company reported lower-than expected results in the third quarter of 2016, missing estimates for both earnings and sales. Fastenal’s revenues are being hurt as the sales of fasteners into heavy manufacturing, construction end markets were relatively weak. It is due to overall weakness in the industrial economy. An unfavorable customer mix and product mix resulted in below average gross margins. In fact, the company does not see any improvement in gross margin rates through the rest of 2016 as well. That said, the company’s cost-saving initiative Pathway-to-Profit bode well. Meanwhile, vending trends continue to improve in 2016 as efforts to improve the quality of signings/installs paid off. In 2016, the company intends to increase its investment in the vending program and expects it to outperform through 2016 and beyond.”
Fortinet (NASDAQ:FTNT) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a sell rating. According to Zacks, “Fortinet is a provider of network security appliances and Unified Threat Management network security solutions to enterprises, service providers and government entities worldwide. The company’s recent downbeat guidance for third-quarter 2016 makes us increasingly cautious about its near-term performance. Fortinet cited a longer sales cycle and weakness in North America as the major reasons for outlook cut. Furthermore, for the past few quarters, the company has been witnessing increase in operating expenses due to stepped-up investments in research and development, and marketing strategies which have been offsetting the benefit of higher revenues. Moreover, intensifying competition and uncertain macroeconomic environment add to its woes.”
Frontier Communications Corp. (NASDAQ:FTR) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a sell rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “Frontier Communications is nicely positioned to gain from continued growth of high-speed data and voice network. Frontier Communications is also leaving no stone unturned to derive benefits from the growing Business Service Segment, especially, the SMB segment. Also, as a part of its marketing initiatives, Frontier launched its first retail outlet in southern California which will enhance their presence in the region. However, Frontier Communications remains significantly challenged by slow economic recovery in its service territories and competes with the loss of legacy fixed telephony business to wireless and other offerings. The company expects to continue experiencing decline in wireless backhaul revenues due to customer migration to Ethernet solutions at lower price points.”
Off Wall Street started coverage on shares of Haemonetics Corp. (NYSE:HAE). They issued a sell rating and a $24.00 target price on the stock.
Intercept Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ICPT) had its positive rating reiterated by analysts at Leerink Swann.
Louisiana-Pacific Corp. (NYSE:LPX) was upgraded by analysts at Vertical Group to a buy rating.
Lam Research Corp. (NASDAQ:LRCX) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a buy rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “Lam Research Corp. is a leading global provider of innovative wafer fabrication equipment and services to the semiconductor industry. The company reported better-than-expected fiscal fourth quarter 2016 results with revenues and earnings surpassing our estimates. The results were driven by strong success in the areas of device architecture, process flow and advanced packaging technology inflections. The KLA acquisition is expected to expand its market and customer base, generating cash and creating value. The company has been improving on WFE market share significantly since 2013 and expects to continue making gains, going forward. At the same time, the persistent decline in the PC market, which is still the most important consumer of DRAMs, the competitive climate and currency effects remain concerns. The Brexit impact cannot be ignored either.”
Gabelli initiated coverage on shares of Monarch Casino & Resort (NASDAQ:MCRI). Gabelli issued a hold rating and a $27.00 target price on the stock.
Merck KGaA (FRA:MRK) had its neutral rating reaffirmed by analysts at JPMorgan Chase & Co..
MKM Partners assumed coverage on shares of Ollie’s Bargain Outlet Holdings (NASDAQ:OLLI). MKM Partners issued a buy rating and a $33.00 target price on the stock.
PROSIEBENSAT1 MED. NPV (OTCMKTS:PBSFF) had its neutral rating reiterated by analysts at JPMorgan Chase & Co..
Progressive Corp. (NYSE:PGR) was upgraded by analysts at Citigroup Inc. from a sell rating to a neutral rating.
ProQR Therapeutics NV (NASDAQ:PRQR) had its outperform rating reiterated by analysts at Leerink Swann.
Gabelli assumed coverage on shares of Red Rock Resorts (NASDAQ:RRR). Gabelli issued a buy rating and a $29.00 price target on the stock.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. initiated coverage on shares of Splunk (NASDAQ:SPLK). The firm issued an overweight rating on the stock.
SOFTWARE AG SPON ADR EACH 4 REP 1 (OTCMKTS:STWRY) had its buy rating reissued by analysts at DZ Bank AG.
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