Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “strong sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued to investors on Monday.

According to Zacks, “Over the past one year, Ericsson’s shares have underperformed the Zacks categorized Wireless Equipment industry’s average return. Ericsson also has a dreadful earnings history – with huge, consecutive earnings misses over the trailing four quarters. Soft emerging market conditions, completion of major projects and adverse industry trends remain major headwinds for the company. On the positive side, the company has prioritized three areas of growth, namely, core business, targeted investments and cost & efficiency, which should boost profits. Ericsson’s recent partnership with Cisco is showing promise and is expected to boost its product lineup and drive sales growth. Also, steady pace of LTE deployments in Southeast Asia and Oceania is proving conducive to the company’s growth.”

Several other research analysts also recently weighed in on the company. Citigroup Inc. started coverage on Ericsson in a research note on Thursday, June 8th. They set a “buy” rating for the company. Credit Suisse Group raised Ericsson from an “underperform” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research note on Wednesday, April 12th. Sanford C. Bernstein raised Ericsson from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research note on Wednesday, March 29th. Cowen and Company reaffirmed a “market perform” rating and set a $3.00 target price (down from $4.00) on shares of Ericsson in a research note on Saturday, April 29th. Finally, Societe Generale started coverage on Ericsson in a research note on Wednesday, June 14th. They set a “hold” rating for the company. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have issued a hold rating, five have issued a buy rating and two have assigned a strong buy rating to the company. Ericsson currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $6.20.

Ericsson (ERIC) traded down 2.086% during midday trading on Monday, reaching $7.275. 3,893,307 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged. Ericsson has a 52 week low of $4.83 and a 52 week high of $7.82.

Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, April 25th. The communications equipment provider reported ($0.27) EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.03 by $0.30. The company had revenue of $46.40 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $47.36 billion. Ericsson had a negative return on equity of 1.32% and a negative net margin of 4.93%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 11.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.87 EPS. Equities research analysts expect that Ericsson will post $0.30 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of ERIC. Russell Investments Group Ltd. bought a new stake in shares of Ericsson during the fourth quarter worth about $1,692,000. Comerica Bank increased its stake in shares of Ericsson by 8.4% in the fourth quarter. Comerica Bank now owns 183,748 shares of the communications equipment provider’s stock worth $1,088,000 after buying an additional 14,176 shares during the period. FMR LLC increased its stake in shares of Ericsson by 200.2% in the fourth quarter. FMR LLC now owns 4,483,260 shares of the communications equipment provider’s stock worth $26,137,000 after buying an additional 2,989,600 shares during the period. Dodge & Cox bought a new stake in shares of Ericsson during the fourth quarter worth about $11,480,000. Finally, Quadrature Capital Ltd increased its stake in shares of Ericsson by 141.0% in the fourth quarter. Quadrature Capital Ltd now owns 138,740 shares of the communications equipment provider’s stock worth $809,000 after buying an additional 81,173 shares during the period. 8.08% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Ericsson

Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson (Ericsson) provides infrastructure, services and software to the telecommunication industry and other sectors. The Company’s segments include Networks, IT & Cloud and Media. The Networks segment consists of two business units: Network Products and Network Services. The overall focus is on evolving and managing access networks, including the development of hardware and software for radio access and transport networks.

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