Analysts’ downgrades for Monday, June 19th:

Alpha Bank (NASDAQ:ALBKF) was downgraded by analysts at Citigroup Inc. to a hold rating.

AMTEK (NYSE:AME) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a buy rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “AMETEK is a leading manufacturer of electronic appliances and electromechanical devices. The company continues to reap the benefits from the execution of its four core growth strategies of operational excellence, global market expansion, investments in product development and strategic acquisitions. This, in combination with a strong portfolio of differentiated businesses, is expected to help the company post better results, going forward. However, weakness in its balance sheet, integration issues and an overly high goodwill associated with an aggressive acquisition strategy are concerns. Foreign exchange headwinds remain. Notably, over the last one year, the stock has underperformed the Zacks Electronic Test Equipment industry.”

Cincinnati Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:CINF) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a sell rating. According to Zacks, “Shares of Cincinnati Financial underperformed the Zacks categorized Property, Casualty and Title industry, year to date. Cincinnati Financial’s exposure to cat losses and continued turmoil in group benefits associated with the ACA are headwinds. It has replaced its existing catastrophe bond program with a new collateralized reinsurance to mitigate the loss. Nonetheless, the company’s low leverage, ample capital, consistent cash flow generation, favorable reserve release, share repurchases and consistent dividend hikes should drive growth. Management is appointing agencies and expanding product offerings to ramp up business. It also scores strongly with credit rating agencies. The first quarter of 2017 marked 15 straight quarter of investment income increase.”

Loews Corporation (NYSE:L) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a buy rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “Loews Hotels remains on growth track as most properties witnessed a higher income. The Boardwalk unit is poised to capitalize on increasing exports of natural gas and pipeline exports to Mexico as well as industrial demand for natural gas and liquids. Addition of Consolidated Container will strengthen its network of manufacturing locations throughout the U.S. Market conditions remain tough for Diamond Offshore. However with new drilling rigs that are contracted through 2019 and demand for oil growing, Loews remains optimistic over the medium and long term. Also, shares of Loews have underperformed the Zacks categorized Multi line industry, year to date.”

Moody’s Corporation (NYSE:MCO) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a buy rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “Shares of Moody’s have significantly outperformed the Zacks categorized Miscellaneous Financial Services industry, in the last six months. We are optimistic about the company’s prospects given its diverse operations and dominant position in the credit rating industry. Notably for 2017, the company projects adjusted earnings to be near the upper end of the range of $5.15 to $5.30. Also, given its strong balance sheet position, the company is well poised to grow through strategic acquisitions. However, a stricter regulatory landscape and litigations issues remain major near-term concerns. Also, stiff competition across the credit rating industry makes us apprehensive.”

M&T Bank Co. (NYSE:MTB) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a buy rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “M&T Bank’s shares outperformed the Zacks categorized Regional Banks-Major industry over the past six months. The company’s top-line growth looks encouraging given its diverse fee income base, and consistent rise in deposit and loan growth amid an improving economy. Also, the company raised its prime lending rate to 4.25%, following the latest Fed interest rate hike reflecting gradual easing of margin pressure. M&T Bank’s involvement in steady capital deployment activities reflects its strong capital position. Further, the approval of the Financial Choice Act will support its profitability. Nevertheless, mounting costs resulting from ongoing investments remain a hindrance for the bottom line growth.”

Novadaq Technologies (NASDAQ:NVDQ) (TSE:NDQ) was downgraded by analysts at Wedbush from an outperform rating to a neutral rating.

PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (The) (NYSE:PNC) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a buy rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “PNC Financial’s shares outperformed the Zacks categorized Regional Banks-Major industry, over the last six months. We remain encouraged by the company’s efforts to generate positive operating leverage through its cost-saving initiatives. Further, its deal to acquire the commercial and vendor finance business of ECN Capital is expected to be marginally accretive to earnings in 2017. Also, ease of regulations is likely to support profitability.  Though the company increased its prime lending rate to 4.25% following the latest Fed rate hike, however, margin pressure is not expected to ease drastically in the upcoming quarters.”

UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a buy rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “UnitedHealth Group’s strong Government business and continued strong growth at Optum are driving long term growth. Its international business and strong capital position are other positives. On the back of its solid first-quarter earnings, the company raised its 2017 guidance. Nevertheless, year to date, the shares have returned 13%, underperforming the Zacks categorized HMO industry’s gain of 18%. Recently, an ex-employee of the company played whistleblower, accusing it of overcharging $1 billion on the Medicare Advantage policies sold between 2011 and 2014. The DoJ has also filed a lawsuit for the same. Moreover, the company has reduced its exposure to the troubled public exchange business. Though this move will shield it from losses in this business, the company’s premium revenues are likely to be affected.”

Washington Federal (NASDAQ:WAFD) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a buy rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “Washington Federal’s shares outperformed the Zacks categorized Northeast Banks industry, in the last three months. The passage of the Financial Choice Act is likely to increase lending activities for the company, which along with continued improvement in loan balances, a gradual economic recovery and improving rate scenario should are expected to fuel organic growth in the quarters ahead. Also, the company’s deal to acquire Anchor Bancorp is anticipated to be accretive to earnings, upon integration. However, elevated expenses owing to merger and integration charges related to Anchor Bancorp deal and several branch consolidation efforts are expected to put pressure on the bottom line. Further, exposure to risky loan portfolios continues to keep its financials under pressure.”

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a sell rating. According to Zacks, “Wells Fargo’s shares underperformed the Zacks categorized Regional Banks-Major industry year to date. Elevated expenses and lower non-interest income remain concerns. Troubles have intensified following the bank’s $190-million settlement last year to resolve regulators’ claims of illegally opening millions of illegal accounts. While the current crisis at the company will take some time to alleviate, we believe that continued growth in loans and deposits and expansions should support its growth profile. Additionally, the company plans $4 billion of cost cuts by 2019. Moreover, recently approved the Financial Choice Act to eradicate a number of core financial regulations will act as a tailwind for the company in coming quarters. Notably, Wells Fargo hiked the prime lending rate to 4.25%, following the recent Fed rate hike.”

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