Equities Research Analysts’ downgrades for Tuesday, September 26th:

Acorda Therapeutics (NASDAQ:ACOR) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a strong sell rating. According to Zacks, “Acorda submitted regulatory applications for its late stage Parkinson’s candidate, Inbrija (formerly known as CVT-301) in the U.S. and plans to file for the same in the EU by 2017-end. However, Inbrija recently received a refusal to file letter from the FDA which is concerning as it would delay its commercial launch. Moreover, the company’s key multiple sclerosis drug Ampyra is facing patent challenges in the United States. Hence, Acorda’s dependence on Ampyra for a major part of its revenue is concerning. The company has its share of pipeline setbacks too with discontinuation of a few late stage programe which is also a matter of concern . On the flip side, Ampyra showed improvement in performance sequentially despite patent challenges. The company is also working on expanding its pipeline by entering into deals and pursuing acquisitions. The company’s share price has outperformed the industry so far this year.”

Axovant Sciences (NYSE:AXON) was downgraded by analysts at Robert W. Baird from an outperform rating to a neutral rating.

Axovant Sciences (NYSE:AXON) was downgraded by analysts at UBS AG from an outperform rating to a market perform rating.

Axovant Sciences (NYSE:AXON) was downgraded by analysts at Piper Jaffray Companies from an overweight rating to a neutral rating.

Boeing Company (The) (NYSE:BA) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a buy rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “Boeing's share has outperformed the industry's rally over the last one year. Boeing is the largest aircraft manufacturer in the world in terms of revenue, orders and deliveries, and one of the largest aerospace and defense contractors. The company’s 20-year market outlook, forecasts commercial jetliner demand to increase by 3.6%. The single-aisle jets are expected to be the major driver behind demand growth. Further, the company’s defense business stands out among its peers by virtue of its broadly diversified programs and strong order bookings. However, the company continues to face challenges from order cancellations, stiff competition as well as falling delivery numbers. Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner's deferred production cost also remains a cause of concern for the company. For its 747 model, weak demand for large commercial passenger and freighter aircraft also adds to the woes.”

Cardtronics PLC (NASDAQ:CATM) was downgraded by analysts at Lake Street Capital from a buy rating to a hold rating.

Cerner Corporation (NASDAQ:CERN) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a sell rating. According to Zacks, “Earnings estimates for Cerner Corporation for the third quarter have been going down of late. The company faces currency headwind and macroeconomic challenges. Unfavorable currency translation is expected to weigh on its sales and earnings in the third quarter. In recent times System sales witnessed a major deterioration owing to a decline in technology resale. Furthermore, the HCIT market is highly competitive, which exerts considerable pressure on both pricing and margins. We believe that the company has growth opportunities in the revenue cycle management (RCM), Population Health and ambulatory markets based on its product strength and enviable track record. However, a growing proportion of low-margin services and technology resale may affect margins. Meanwhile, stringent hospital budgets exert pressure on pricing.”

Cummins (NYSE:CMI) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a buy rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “Zacks Consensus Estimate for Cummins’ quarterly earnings has remained unchanged of late. The company expects to witness a growing trend in its truck and construction products’ demand, along with growth in global mining customers, which will have a positive impact on its sales figure. The company is also developing a Class 7 heavy-duty electric truck having a 140 kWh battery pack, to cater bus and commercial truck operators. Moreover, it has also provided an improved outlook for fiscal 2017. The company is also poised to benefit from its business expansions in China and acquisitions and partnerships in North America. Also, its shares have outperformed against the industry, year to date. However, challenging market condition, currency headwinds and high warranty costs might dent the financials of Cummins.”

Edwards Lifesciences Corporation (NYSE:EW) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a strong-buy rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “Over the last six months, Edwards Lifesciences has outperformed the broader industry. Edwards Lifesciences’ second-quarter 2017 performance was quite promising . Moreover, the raised guidance for 2017 hints at brighter prospects. In fact, the guidance raise was backed by a strong performance by all of the company’s three product lines.   We believe that the recent FDA approvals for several products including SAPIEN 3 THV for valve-in-valve procedures and INSPIRIS RESILIA aortic valve have been boosting investors’ confidence on the stock. However, higher operating expenses raise concerns. The stock’s valuation is also stretched on huge investments in the launch and promotion of products. Stiff competition, currency headwind and reimbursement issues are other challenges.”

Home Depot, Inc. (The) (NYSE:HD) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a buy rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “Home Depot’s spectacular past performance has helped it to surpass the industry in the past year. The company has been consistently gaining from its interconnected strategy, focus on Pro customers, and housing market recovery. These factors helped the company post a stellar second-quarter fiscal 2017 performance, which marked its highest ever quarterly sales and earnings. Notably, sales marked its 13th straight beat, while earnings retained its 5-year long trend of positive surprise. Results were driven by solid growth across all regions, both in stores and online. Also, Pro category sales continued to outperform, driven by constant efforts to enrich customers’ experiences. The sturdy first half and expectations of improved home prices encouraged the company to raise its fiscal 2017 view. However, gross margin remained plateaued, and is likely to fall 10 bps in fiscal 2017. Also, competition from online retailers may impact results.”

Henkel AG & Co. (OTCMKTS:HENKY) was downgraded by analysts at Raymond James Financial, Inc. from an outperform rating to a market perform rating.

Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a buy rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “Intel’s growing focus on the data-centric part of the business is positive. The launch of Xeon Scalable, Core 8 chips, Myriad X and next-generation desktop processors are key catalysts. The new desktop processors are expected to help Intel's gaming endeavors amid stiff competition from AMD and NVIDIA. Moreover, the Core 8 launch is expected to boost PC market share. Further, anticipated improvement in cost structure and lower spending, primarily due to improving operational efficiency will aid in expansion of margins going forward. Additionally, aggressive share buyback will boost the bottom line in 2017. However, we note that Intel has underperformed the industry on a year-to-date basis. Moreover, declining PC-shipment remains a concern.”

Ingersoll-Rand PLC (Ireland) (NYSE:IR) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a sell rating. According to Zacks, “Ingersoll has underperformed the industry year to date. Presently, when the economy in Europe is highly unpredictable post the Brexit referendum, it becomes difficult for the company to increase revenues and reduce costs. In addition, Ingersoll is likely to be stifled by the renegotiated deals and restrictions imposed on trade with other European Union members. Operating risks from high R&D costs for technology-driven products are expected to weigh on margins in the quarters ahead. Moreover, intense competitive pressure and adverse foreign currency impact are likely to hinder its profitability to some extent. In addition, restructuring actions are likely to lead to near-term earnings dilution for the company. However, Ingersoll is focusing on improving the efficiencies and capabilities of products and services within its core businesses to improve profitability.”

JetBlue Airways Corporation (NASDAQ:JBLU) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a sell rating. According to Zacks, “Shares of JetBlue Airways have underperformed its industry so far this year. The stock has also been plagued by multiple challenges like high fuel and labor costs. Adding to its woes, the carrier's August load factor declined due to capacity overexpansion. The carrier's operations were recently disrupted by the natural calamities like Harvey and Irma. JetBlue recently provided a bearish view on revenue per available seat miles (a key unit measure) for the third quarter of 2017. The company attributed the reduction in the guidance to the prevalent competitive pricing environment. JetBlue's efforts to expand its popular premium service (Mint) and reduce debt levels are, however, encouraging.”

Korea Electric Power Corporation (NYSE:KEP) was downgraded by analysts at Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) from a neutral rating to a sell rating.

Lincoln National Corporation (NYSE:LNC) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a buy rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “Over the last one year, Lincoln National’s shares have outperformed the industry.  The company is well positioned for long-term growth on the back of changes made in product and business mix. In order to shield itself from long-term claims variability, the company has been emphasizing on sale of Life products without long-term guarantees. It has also streamlined its business by axing unprofitable and non-core lines. The company’s Group Protection segment which was challenged earlier, has been recovering. The stock has witnessed an upward revision in the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2017 over the past 60 days. However, increased expense driven by investment in technology will dent margins over the next many quarters. Declining cash flows are another cause of concern.”

Meredith Corporation (NYSE:MDP) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a sell rating. According to Zacks, “Shares of Meredith have underperformed the industry in the past three months. Waning print media trends due to shift from traditional advertising and stiff competition continues to pose concern for investors. Meanwhile, earnings in both first-quarter and fiscal 2018 are expected to decline as the fiscal 2017 benefited from record political advertising revenues. Local Media Group revenues are projected to be flat to down slightly while revenues from National Media are anticipated to be flat to up marginally. Nevertheless, Meredith’s strategic initiatives particularly in digital space, brand licensing activities, solid portfolio of television stations and robust earnings surprise history reinforce its position as one of the leading media and marketing companies. However, year-over-year decline in fourth-quarter fiscal 2017 earnings per share raises concern. Estimates have been stable lately.”

Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a buy rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “As one of the top largest U.S. defense contractors, Northrop continues to enjoy strong presence in Air Force, Space & Cyber Security programs. Moreover, its product innovation and focus on strengthening its ISR wing will help maintain a stable earnings stream amid the rapidly changing needs of the defense landscape. The company maintains a strong balance sheet and steady cash flow that offer substantial financial flexibility. Also, recent budgetary amendments made by the Trump administration have been in favor of defense biggies like Northrop. However, too much dependence on fixed-price contracts remains a concern for the stock. Moreover, higher operating expenses drag down Northrop's profit margin. Also the company underperformed its broader industry in past one year.”

Nucor Corporation (NYSE:NUE) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a strong sell rating. According to Zacks, “Earnings estimates for the third quarter for Nucor have been going down of late. Nucor has underperformed the industry it belongs to over the past three months. The company recently lowered its earnings outlook for the third quarter, partly due to the impact of higher steel imports which is expected to put pressure on pricing. The U.S. steel industry is not out of the woods yet. The industry continues to be adversely affected by cheaper imports. Nucor also faces soft demand in certain markets including energy.”

Roche Holding (NASDAQ:RHHBY) was downgraded by analysts at BNP Paribas from a neutral rating to an underperform rating.

Raytheon (NYSE:RTN) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a buy rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “Raytheon is one of the best-positioned large-cap defense players due to its non-platform-centric focus. Thanks to its wide range of combat-proven defense products, the company continues to receive scrumptious orders from both Pentagon as well as foreign allies of the nation. In particular, its Patriot missile-defense systems have been seeing increased number of buyers, lately. Moreover, the company is a strong cash generator, which allows it to pay attractive dividend per share to its shareholders. On the flip side, factors like tough competition, budget deficits and political uncertainty continue to be major headwinds for Raytheon. Also, the company underperformed its broader industry in past one year.”

State Street Corporation (NYSE:STT) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a buy rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “Shares of State Street have significantly outperformed the industry, over the past six months. This performance was supported by the company’s impressive earnings surprise history. It has surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in all the trailing four quarters. Further, the company remains on track to improve efficiency through its multi-year restructuring plan. New business wins, synergies from GE Asset Management deal and easing margin pressure are likely to aid top-line growth. However, mounting expenses mainly owing to higher compensation and employee benefit costs are expected to hurt its profitability.”

Del Taco Restaurants (NASDAQ:TACO) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a buy rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “Del Taco is the second largest Mexican-American QSR chain by units in the United States, serving more than three million guests each week. At Del Taco, menu items are made to order with fresh ingredients, including Cheddar cheese grated from 40-pound blocks, handmade pico de gallo salsa, lard-free beans slow-cooked from scratch, and marinated chicken grilled in the restaurant. The menu includes classic Mexican dishes such as tacos, burritos, quesadillas and nachos as well as American favorites including hamburgers, crinkle-cut fries and shakes. The company was founded on June 30, 2015 and is headquartered in Lake Forest, CA. “

TE Connectivity (NYSE:TEL) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a buy rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “TE Connectivity has a striking earnings surprise history over the four trailing quarters, beating estimates all through. Strong progress on strategic priorities, solid execution and impressive top-line growth are proving conducive to the company’s profitability. It expects transportation business to experience high-single-digit organic growth, fueled by rise in global auto production and impressive heavy truck business in key end markets. Also, its Communications and Industrial segments are witnessing strong rebound, thus stoking growth. However, sluggish industrial markets and derivative impact of lower oil prices are posing as major headwinds, thwarting growth. Also, adverse currency fluctuations and high restructuring expenses might hurt the company’s performance. The stock has also underperformed the industry average, year to date. The company is currently experiencing inefficiencies in its supply chain.”

Universal Stainless & Alloy Products (NASDAQ:USAP) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a buy rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “UNIVERSAL STAINLESS & ALLOY is a mini-mill that manufactures and markets semi-finished specialty steels, including stainless steel, tool steels and other alloy steels. It also provides conversion services on materials supplied by customers that lack certain of the Company’s production facilities or that are subject to their own capacity constraints. “

Wpp Plc (NASDAQ:WPPGY) was downgraded by analysts at Morgan Stanley from an overweight rating to an equal rating.

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