Equities Research Analysts’ upgrades for Wednesday, October 11th:

American Public Education (NASDAQ:APEI) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a sell rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “The affordability of the American Public's courses and programs will benefit the company in the long run owing to high price sensitivity among students. The company has taken up several initiatives to boost its top line. It will continue to improve enrollment trends by strengthening its brand, adding new programs and expanding its strategic relationships. However, American Public's sales and enrollment trends are being hurt by persistent volatility and softness in enrollment by students using Federal aid and military tuition assistance. Shares of the company have also underperformed the industry year to date. Moreover, the company’s second-quarter outlook is discouraging.”

Extra Space Storage (NYSE:EXR) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a buy rating. They currently have $90.00 target price on the stock. According to Zacks, “Shares of Extra Space Storage outperformed the industry it belongs to, in the past three months. The stock has seen the Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year funds from operations (FFO) per share being revised upward in two months’ time. The company’s focus to expand its geographical footprint through accretive acquisitions and third-party management platforms is anticipated to drive growth over the long term. In fact, the company gained an increased scale in several core markets on the back of these acquisitions, as well as fortified its presence in a number of new markets. Moreover, its presence in key cities and strategic joint ventures serve as growth drivers amid sound demand in the self-storage industry. However, increasing supply of self-storage units in certain markets and stiff competition remain concerns. Also, rate hike adds to its woes.”

Invesco PLC (NYSE:IVZ) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a buy rating. The firm currently has $40.00 price target on the stock. According to Zacks, “Invesco’s shares have underperformed the industry so far this year. Yet, the company has an impressive earnings surprise history. It surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in three of the trailing four quarters. With an aim to enhance its exchange-traded funds (ETF) operation, the company has inked a deal to acquire the ETF business of Guggenheim Partners LLC. Strong balance sheet position along with cost savings efforts, improving assets under management (AUM), diverse product offerings and alternative investment strategies should continue supporting growth. However, high-debt levels, and amortization of goodwill and intangible assets could have an adverse effect on the company’s profitability.”

Shawcor (TSE:SCL) was upgraded by analysts at National Bank Financial from a sector perform rating to an outperform rating. The firm currently has C$35.00 target price on the stock, up from their previous target price of C$27.00.

Simon Property Group (NYSE:SPG) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a buy rating. Zacks Investment Research currently has $182.00 price target on the stock. According to Zacks, “Simon Property recently announced the ground breaking of Denver Premium Outlets. The company also opened The Shops — a 500,000-square-foot upscale mixed-use development situated in Clearfork. Notably, the company has a diversified exposure to retail assets in the United States and abroad. Although, there is pressure from escalating Internet sales, the company is making concerted efforts to restructure its portfolio as well as upgrade services and amenities provided to its customers. The company has a healthy balance sheet and is taking initiatives to support omni-channel retailing. Such efforts augur well for long term growth. Further, shares of Simon Property have outperformed the industry it belongs to, over the past three months. Also, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year funds from operations (FFO) per share remained unchanged in a month’s time.”

State Street Corporation (NYSE:STT) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a buy rating. Zacks Investment Research currently has $111.00 price target on the stock. 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. Though escalating expenses might hurt bottom-line growth, new business wins, synergies from GE Asset Management deal and easing margin pressure are likely to aid top-line growth. Moreover, given a solid capital position, the company is expected to continue with its capital deployment activities, thereby enhancing shareholder value.”

AT&T (NYSE:T) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a buy rating. Zacks Investment Research currently has $43.00 target price on the stock. According to Zacks, “AT&T is planning to spread its 5G technology trials to three new cities – Waco, Kalamazoo, South Bend by 2017 end. Deployment of G. fast based services complements its high-speed broadband services. AT&T’s NetBond is gearing up to offer multiple cloud-to-cloud connections. The company is targeting customers by offering a combo of wireless and video services. Meanwhile, AT&T is reportedly exploring a strategic option to sell a major part of its Latin American pay-TV operations. AT&T has unveiled its own Android tablet, Primetime. The AT&T-Time Warner pending deal awaits nod from Brazil and United States. However, AT&T operates in a competitive and saturated wireless U.S. market. Losses in access lines, operating expenses, marketing costs associated with attractive discounts, regulatory norms and union issues are other major risks. Over the past three months, the stock grew 4.5% as against the industry's 5.3% gain.”

Tutor Perini Corporation (NYSE:TPC) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a sell rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “Tutor Perini Corporation provides diversified general contracting, construction management and design-build services to private clients and public agencies worldwide. The company operates in four segments: Civil, Building, Specialty Contractors, and Management Services. The Civil segment engages in public works construction activities and the repair, replacement, and reconstruction of infrastructure. The Building segment offers services in specialized building markets, including hospitality and gaming, transportation, healthcare, municipal offices, sports and entertainment, education, correctional facilities, biotech, pharmaceutical, industrial, and high technology. The Specialty Contractors segment provides plumbing, HVAC, electrical, mechanical, and concrete services for the industrial, commercial, hospitality and gaming, and transportation markets. The Management Services segment offers construction and design-build services to the U.S. military and government agencies, and multi-national corporations. “

TPI Composites (NASDAQ:TPIC) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a strong-buy rating. They currently have $26.00 price target on the stock. According to Zacks, “TPI Composites, Inc. is the manufacturer of composite wind blades for the wind energy market. It operates primarily in the U.S., Mexico, China and Turkey. TPI Composites, Inc. is headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona. “

Tabula Rasa Healthcare (NASDAQ:TRHC) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a strong-buy rating. The firm currently has $31.00 target price on the stock. According to Zacks, “Tabula Rasa HealthCare, Inc. is a provider of patient-specific, data-driven technology and solutions which enable healthcare organizations to optimize medication regimens to improve patient outcomes, reduce hospitalizations, lower healthcare costs and manage risk. The company’s cloud-based software applications including EireneRx and MedWise Advisor which provide solutions to payers, providers and other healthcare organizations. Tabula Rasa HealthCare, Inc. is based in NJ, United States. “

TransCanada Corporation (NYSE:TRP) (TSE:TRP) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a strong-buy rating. They currently have $57.00 target price on the stock. According to Zacks, “TransCanada is a North American energy company. They are focused on natural gas transmission and power services. Their pipeline transports the majority of Western Canada’s natural gas production to growing markets in Canada and the United States. “

TransUnion (NYSE:TRU) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a buy rating. The firm currently has $56.00 price target on the stock. According to Zacks, “TransUnion is poised for impressive growth in several of its end markets, especially the burgeoning Big Data and analytics market, with an attractive business model, significant operating leverage, low capital requirements and strong and stable cash flows. Increased risk of identity theft due to data breaches and high consumer awareness about the usage of credit information are propelling the demand for its consumer solutions. As emerging market economies continue to develop and mature, the company is well-positioned to gain from the associated favorable socio-economic trends. TransUnion has also outperformed the industry year to date. Management further increased its guidance on healthy growth dynamics and sustained investments. However, the company is vulnerable to the overall macroeconomic conditions, industry trends and stiff competitive pressures, which limit its profitability to some extent.”

Trinseo (NYSE:TSE) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a buy rating. Zacks Investment Research currently has $77.00 price target on the stock. According to Zacks, “Trinseo S.A. is a global materials company and manufacturer of plastics, latex and rubber. The Company’s technology is used by customers in industries such as home appliances, automotive, building & construction, carpet, consumer electronics, consumer goods, electrical & lighting, medical, packaging, paper & paperboard, rubber goods and tires. Its major products include styrene-butadiene latex, styrene-acrylate latex, solution styrene-butadiene rubber, lithium polybutadiene rubber, emulsion styrene-butadiene rubber, nickel polybutadiene rubber, polystyrene, expandable polystyrene, acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene, styrene-acrylonitrile, ignition resistant polystyrene, polycarbonate resins, compounds and blends, and polypropylene compounds. Trinseo S.A. is based in Berwyn, Pennsylvania. “

The Stars Group (NYSE:TSG) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a buy rating. The firm currently has $23.00 price target on the stock. According to Zacks, “The Stars Group Inc. engages in the design, development, manufacture, distribution and sale of technology based gaming products and services. Its products include interactive gaming, land-based gaming and lottery solutions. The Stars Group Inc., formerly known as Amaya Inc, is headquartered in Toronto, Canada. “

2U (NASDAQ:TWOU) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a sell rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “2U, Inc. is an education technology company. It is a provider of cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions that enables nonprofit colleges and universities to deliver their education to students anywhere. The Company offers graduate and undergraduate degree programs in social work, science, public administration, healthcare, laws, education, and business administration. It also offers a suite of technology-enabled services including content development, student acquisition, and state authorization services, as well as application advising, student and faculty support, and in-program student field placements. 2U, Inc. is based in Landover, Maryland. “

Ultrapar Participacoes (NYSE:UGP) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a buy rating. They currently have $27.00 price target on the stock. According to Zacks, “Ultrapar Participacoes S.A., a major Brazilian industrial group, is one of the largest distributors of liquefied petroleum gas in Brazil and a leading producer of petrochemicals and chemical. Ultrapar is also engaged in the storage and transportation of liquefied petroleum gas and petrochemical and chemical products. (PRESS RELEASE) “

The Ultimate Software Group (NASDAQ:ULTI) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a sell rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “The Ultimate Software Group, Inc. (Ultimate) is a cloud provider of people management solutions, referred to as human capital management (HCM). The Company’s UltiPro product suite (UltiPro) is an engaging solution that has human resources (HR), payroll and benefits management. As of December 31, 2016, UltiPro included global people management, available in 14 languages with more than 35 country-specific localizations. The solution is delivered through software-as-a-service (SaaS) to organizations based in the United States and Canada, including those with global workforces. The UltiPro solution includes feature sets for talent acquisition and onboarding, HR management and compliance, benefits management and online enrollment, payroll, performance management, compensation management with salary planning, budgeting, and development of incentive plans, succession management, reporting and analytical decision-making and predictive tools, and time and attendance. “

Veeva Systems (NYSE:VEEV) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a buy rating. The firm currently has $65.00 price target on the stock. According to Zacks, “Veeva Systems outperformed the broader industry on a year-to-date basis, on the back of its splendid earnings surprise history. Notably, the company has delivered positive earnings surprise in all the past four quarters. Further, the company remains on track with its commercial cloud platform, which registered multiple contracts around the world. Veeva has also many core CRM projects on track with large pharma companies around the globe. The company has strengthened the recurring part of its revenue mix by marking significant growth in subscription revenues in the last quarter. Moreover, the new launches at the Veeva Vault and the Veeva Coomercial Cloud platforms are encouraging. However, intensifying competition, high operating expenses and a saturating lifesciences market are key concerns.”

Veritone (NASDAQ:VERI) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a sell rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “Veritone, Inc. is an artificial intelligence company. It developed the Veritone Platform, which unlocks the power of AI-based cognitive computing to transform and analyze unstructured public and private audio and video data for clients in the media, politics, legal and law enforcement industries. Veritone, Inc. is based in Newport Beach, United States. “

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