Research Analysts’ upgrades for Tuesday, August 8th:

SPX FLOW (NYSE:FLOW) was upgraded by analysts at Susquehanna Bancshares Inc from a neutral rating to a positive rating.

HCA Holdings (NYSE:HCA) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a sell rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “HCA Healthcare’s   shares have outperformed the industry year to date. Its top-line has been growing over the past several quarters on strong volumes and improved payor and service mix. A number of acquisitions made over the past many years have helped the company gain a strong foothold in the industry. During the second quarter results the company reported earnings of  $1.77 per share which lagged estimates by 1.7% but were up 5.4% year over year. The earnings miss can be traced back to an increase in expenses, which outpaced revenue growth. The company continues to suffer from weak commercial business that has faced declining volumes of admissions over the last four to five quarters. Its high bad debts  and disappointing international business are the other headwinds. The company has also trimmed its 2017 guidance.”

Canadian REIT (TSE:REF.UN) was upgraded by analysts at BMO Capital Markets from a market perform rating to an outperform rating. BMO Capital Markets currently has C$52.00 target price on the stock.

Total Energy Services (TSE:TOT) was upgraded by analysts at BMO Capital Markets from a market perform rating to an outperform rating. BMO Capital Markets currently has C$68.00 price target on the stock, up from their previous price target of C$36.00.

vTv Therapeutics (NASDAQ:VTVT) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a sell rating to a buy rating. Zacks Investment Research currently has $4.75 target price on the stock. According to Zacks, “vTv Therapeutics Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company which is engaged in the discovery and development of orally administered small molecule drug candidates to fill unmet medical needs. Its drug candidate for the treatment of Alzheimers disease includes azeliragon TTP488, which is in Phase III clinical trials; type II diabetes drug candidates include Glucokinase Activator TTP399 and GLP-1r Agonist TTP273 which completed Phase I clinical trials; products for the prevention of muscle weakness and treatment of inflammatory disorders include HPP593, HPP737 and HPP971 which is in Phase1 clinical trials. The Company’s drug discovery platform consists of TTP Translational Technology. vTv Therapeutics Inc. is headquartered in High Point, North Carolina. “

Windstream Holdings (NYSE:WIN) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a sell rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “Windstream posted mixed second-quarter 2017 financial results, where its net loss was narrower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate, revenues missed the same. We appreciate Windstream’s focus on improving sales and cutting costs which should rake in profits and check churn. Windstream’s cloud-to-cloud disaster recovery management solutions replicate mission-critical virtual servers and data. Launch of Kinetic TV services and merger with EarthLink Holdings also bode well. Expansion of its metro fibre network business in the Atlanta, Minneapolis, St. Louis, Cleveland and Chicago area and aim to extend the deployment of G.fast technologies over traditional copper telephone wires bode well. However, over the past three months, the stock price lagged its industry’s growth. Windstream’s highly leveraged balance sheet, diminishing access lines, losses in the wholesale business and stringent regulatory measures are near-term risks.”

Wingstop (NASDAQ:WING) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a sell rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “Wingstop Inc. franchises and operates restaurants. The Company’s operating segment consists of Franchise segment and Company segment. It offers cooked-to-order, hand-sauced and tossed chicken wings. Wingstop Inc. is headquartered in Dallas, Texas. “

Williams-Sonoma (NYSE:WSM) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a buy rating. They currently have $53.00 target price on the stock. According to Zacks, “Williams-Sonoma enjoys a competitive advantage owing to its multi-brand/multi-channel business model. The company is focused on enhancing customer experience through improved and innovative marketing techniques. Though shares of Williams-Sonoma underperformed its industry so far this year, earnings estimates for the current quarter remained stable over the last 60 days while that for the current year moved slightly up. However, comparable brand revenues have been sluggish for several quarters owing to soft retail environment and cautious customers. Moreover, continued e-commerce and supply chain investments weigh on operating margin.”

Westshore Terminals Investment Corp (TSE:WTE) was upgraded by analysts at Scotiabank from a sector perform rating to an outperform rating. Scotiabank currently has C$27.00 price target on the stock, up from their previous price target of C$25.00.

Yelp (NYSE:YELP) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a sell rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “Yelp, Inc. is a website engaged in providing information through online community offering social networking. It covers restaurants, shopping, nightlife, financial services, health and a variety of services. The company serves customers in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Switzerland and Belgium. Yelp, Inc. is headquartered in San Francisco, California. “

Yum! Brands (NYSE:YUM) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a buy rating. They currently have $84.00 target price on the stock. According to Zacks, “Yum! Brands’ second-quarter 2017 adjusted earnings per share of $0.68 beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 11.5% and rose 21% year over year (y/y). Total revenue of $1.45 billion fell 4% year over year but topped the consensus mark by nearly 3%. Notably, the company has performed quite well in the domestic and many key international markets. Following China business spin-off, Yum! Brands’ endeavors to drive growth by employing greater focus on the development of its three iconic global brands, increasing its franchise ownership, and creating a leaner, more efficient cost structure, bodes well. In fact, its shares have outpaced the industry ever since the separation. Increased focus on bold restaurant development should also drive growth. Yet, continual underperformance of Pizza Hut U.S. division, macroeconomic concerns and negative currency translation raise concern.”

Olympic Steel (NASDAQ:ZEUS) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a strong sell rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “OLYMPIC STEEL INC. is a specialized steel service center that processes and distributes flat- rolled carbon, stainless and tubular steel products. Co. operates as an intermediary between steel producers and manufacturers that require processed steel for their operations. Co. purchases flat-rolled steel typically from steel producers and responds to its customers’ needs by processing steel to customer specifications and by providing critical inventory and just-in-time delivery services. “

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