Stock Analysts’ downgrades for Tuesday, October 17th:

Allergan PLC. (NYSE:AGN) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a sell rating. According to Zacks, “Allergan’s products like Botox and Linzess and new products such as Viberzi and Vraylar, are supporting sales growth. It also boasts a strong branded pipeline. Biosimilars also represent significant opportunity. However, Allergan is facing generic competition for legacy brands like Namenda and Asacol HD as well as patent challenges for some of the other products in its branded portfolio, which concerns us. In October, a Texas federal district court invalidated four of the six patents covering Restasis, Allergan’s second best-selling drug, potentially opening doors for early generic competition. Also, competition for key growth drivers, Restasis and Linzess, is an investor concern. Allergan’s shares have underperformed the broader industry in the past one month.  Estimates have also declined slightly ahead of the Q3 earnings release. The company has a mixed record of earnings surprises in recent quarters.”

AMAG Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:AMAG) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a buy rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “AMAG has been pursuing strategic acquisitions and deals to boost its portfolio and pipeline. The company is making its investments in the launch of Intrarosa, expansion of the label for Feraheme, development work to support the bremelanotide NDA and expected approval and launch of the Makena subcutaneous auto-injector (SQ) . In June 2017, the FDA accepted the sNDA for the Makena subcutaneous auto-injector. The agency has established a Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) target action date of Feb 14, 2018. AMAG is focused on expanding the Makena’s label further in a bid to increase its market share. AMAG’s shares have underperformed the Medical-Biomedical/Genetics industry year to date. Estimates have been mixed ahead of the Q3 earnings results. The company has a mixed record of earnings surprises in recent quarters.”

Avery Dennison Corporation (NYSE:AVY) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a sell rating. According to Zacks, “For 2017, Avery Dennison expects earnings per share to lie in the range of $4.75–$4.90. The midpoint of the guidance range reflects a year-over-year growth of 20%. The company anticipates reported sales growth in the range of 7–8% for the full year, reflecting the impact of the Yongle and Finesse acquisitions and a smaller currency headwind. Its shares have underperformed the industry year to date. Its estimates have gone down lately. Transition costs related to acquisitions and raw material inflation remain headwinds for Avery Dennison's results in the near term. Following the Yongle and Finesse acquisitions, Avery Dennison’s net debt-to-EBITDA ratio has gone up closer to the high end of its target range.”

CBS (NYSE:CBS) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a sell rating. According to Zacks, “Shares of CBS have underperformed the industry in the past three months. During the second half of 2017, the company may face tough advertising revenue comparison as the prior year benefited from strong political advertising. Moreover, currency fluctuations and higher expenditure for original programming might prove to be a drag. Nevertheless, CBS is likely to gain from increasing demand for content, rise in retransmission rates, expansion of direct-to-consumer business, sturdy digital presence and upfront fees from traditional distribution partners. These helped the company to post better-than-expected second-quarter 2017 results. We believe with the launch of Showtime's streaming service; online news channel, CBSN; and over-the-top service, CBS All Access, the company is generating incremental revenue. Moreover, the company aims to attain $2.5 billion of revenues from retransmission and reverse compensation by 2020.”

Colfax Corporation (NYSE:CFX) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a buy rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “In the last year, Colfax's shares outperformed the industry. We believe that the company holds solid growth opportunities from its inorganic strategies. Assets acquired during second-quarter 2017, TBi and HKS, will strengthen its welding process analytics and robotic welding torches operations in the Fabrication Technology segment. Also, it anticipates completing the acquisition of Siemens Turbomachinery Equipment GmbH business and divestment of its Fluid Handling business to CIRCOR in the fourth quarter. For 2017, the company anticipates earnings to be within $1.65-$1.75 per share. However, we believe that the company's exposure to headwinds from uncertain global economic conditions, unfavorable forex movements and stiff competition might impact its financials in the near term.”

Colgate-Palmolive (NYSE:CL) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a buy rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “Colgate has outperformed the industry in the past month. We remain encouraged by the progress on its 2012 Restructuring Program and expect additional opportunities identified under the program to help reach the higher end of its previously stated cost and savings view. Moreover, the company has been infamous among investors with its meet or beat earnings track record. However, the company’s sales missed expectations for the fifth straight quarter in second-quarter due to continued softness in North America and challenges in Asia-Pacific. Further, the company lagged sales estimates in 16 out of the trailing 17 quarters. Nevertheless, the company remains focused on four fundamentals to boost profits including, increased spending on advertisements; innovation across portfolio; higher spends on e-commerce business and aggressively maximizing productivity. Also, its disciplined capital strategy bodes well. Estimates have been stable lately.”

Core Laboratories N.V. (NYSE:CLB) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a sell rating. According to Zacks, “Core Laboratories is anticipated to face near-term headwinds. Weak commodity prices have prompted upstream firms to lower capital spending, which has resulted in lesser work for the likes of Core Laboratories. Since crude prices are expected to remain low well into 2017, cash flows could see a significant decline in the coming months. The paucity of deepwater drilling orders and lower levels of new wells, which will hamper the specialized service provider’s near-term results, are other negatives in the CLB story. Therefore, ahead of its third-quarter results, we see the company as a risky bet that is best avoided at the moment.”

Coach (NYSE:COH) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a strong sell rating. According to Zacks, “In the past three months, Coach has exhibited a bearish run. In fact, the stock came under pressure after the company came out with its fourth-quarter fiscal 2017 results, wherein top line fell short of the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the fourth quarter in row and continued to decline year over year. Even earnings beat for the 14th straight quarter failed to provide cushion to the stock. Analysts pointed that not so encouraging outlook for fiscal 2018, in spite of Kate Spade buyout, also dampened investors’ mood. Well we believe this may be short lived as Coach looks much more disciplined in its approach in becoming a multi-brand company and adapt to the changing retail landscape with transformational initiatives revolving around products, stores and marketing. Coach also registered positive comps at its North American segment for the fifth consecutive quarter and sees growth prospects in China, Japan and Europe.”

Canadian Solar (NASDAQ:CSIQ) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a sell rating. According to Zacks, “Canadian Solar is expected to continue experiencing market dislocation in the near term, which will directly impact its 2017 financial performance. Again, its top line is heavily skewed towards foreign sales, exposing the company to foreign exchange risks.Stiff competition from cheaper alternatives and exposure to foreign exchange risks are added concerns. Also, Canadian Solar underperformed the broader industry in the last year. On the brighter note, the company caters to a geographically diverse customer base spread across both key markets and emerging markets. It is gradually gaining share in Asia, which could soon become a major solar market.”

Donaldson (NYSE:DCI) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a sell rating. According to Zacks, “In the past six months, Donaldson’s shares have underperformed the industry average. Issues like persistent weakness in key markets, including agriculture, oil and gas, mining equipment, decline in the disk drive business and volatility in sales of Gas Turbines, are anticipated to act as major headwinds going forward. Poor performance from Aerospace and Defense is making matters worse. The company also anticipates disk drive business to follow the market's secular decline. This apart, currency risks, intensifying competition and commodity price fluctuations add to the company’s concerns. However, Donaldson’s Engine Products segment has been showing great momentum, benefiting from stabilization in market conditions and robust sales of replacement parts. Donaldson’s strategy of winning first-fit programs, aftermarket growth and fostering innovative technology are likely to act as growth catalysts, going forward.”

Enbridge Energy Partners, L.P. (NYSE:EEP) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a strong-buy rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “Oil and natural gas transporter Enbridge Energy Partners L.P. has a diversified business portfolio, stable fee-based operating income and a strong liquidity position. Focus on a low risk business profile helps it to optimize returns, as well as generate stable earnings. Additionally, we like Enbridge’s attractive distribution yield and its increased exposure to leading U.S. basins. However, the partnership’s units underperformed the broader industry in the last one year. The partnership’s U.S. L3R Program in Wisconsin and the Canadian L3R Program cost has been revised about 12% above the original estimate at the time the project was approved in 2014. This mainly reflects delays in the regulatory process, changes in scope and route alteration as well as other changes that resulted from the extensive consultation process. Any further delay in starting the project may increase costs.”

Eastman Chemical (NYSE:EMN) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a sell rating. According to Zacks, “Eastman Chemical has underperformed the industry it belongs to over the past six months. Eastman Chemical continues to face pricing pressure. Prices of acetate tow remain weak. The company is also exposed to weakness in its Fibers unit and raw material price volatility. It is seeing lower acetate tow volumes and declining sales in the Fibers business. Raw materials costs headwind is also expected to persist in the third quarter.”

Emerson Electric (NYSE:EMR) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a sell rating. According to Zacks, “Prolonged softness in the oil and gas markets has affected both capital spending and operational expenditure of clients, thereby marring Emerson’s order rates in power generating alternators and electrical distribution businesses. Also, currency fluctuations and escalating restructuring charges also pose as concerns.  Going forward, the company anticipates its Automation businesses to remain under pressure through the majority of fiscal 2017 as the global industrial downturn is lingering longer than expected. Moreover, stiff competition and escalating restructuring expenses may weigh on its financials in the near term. However, going forward, company is well positioned to benefit from the global infrastructure growth, as its core businesses hold dominant positions in markets tied to energy efficiency and infrastructure spending. Also, Emerson’s shares have outperformed the industry average over the past one year.”

Enterprise Products Partners L.P. (NYSE:EPD) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a sell rating. According to Zacks, “Enterprise Products Partners’ escalating debt since 2012 reflects its weak balance sheet. We are also concerned about Enterprise Products’ rising operating costs. Though we believe that the partnership possesses solid cash flow stability from quality pipeline and storage assets and geographic diversity, volume risk and commodity price exposure can negatively impact near-term results. We remain apprehensive about a volatile NGL pricing environment. Enterprise Products also remains vulnerable to macro conditions and unstable oil & gas prices, which could hurt its margins in NGL, natural gas and other business.”

Honda Motor (NYSE:HMC) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a buy rating to a sell rating. According to Zacks, “Honda has provided a weak guidance for fiscal 2018. The Zacks Consensus Estimates for both quarterly and yearly earnings have declined over the past thirty days. Also, its shares have also underperformed the industry it belongs to over the last three months. However, the company has been focusing on infrastructural development, new product introductions and car launches in Asia, North and South America. Moreover, it has also planned to launch fuel cell vehicles in U.S. and European markets. These efforts are expected to popularize the company and attract more customers, which in turn will boost the revenue figure. It is also undertaking frequent collaborations in order to expand its business.”

Harley-Davidson (NYSE:HOG) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a sell rating. According to Zacks, “The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Harley-Davidson’s quarterly earnings has been going down of late. The company’s declining worldwide dealer retail sales due to excessive competitive pressures is a concern for the company. Other concerns faced by the company include higher product discounts, global economic uncertainty, high raw material costs and manufacturing expenses and currency fluctuations. Also, its shares have underperformed in the industry it belongs to, in the last six months.”

Immune Design Corp. (NASDAQ:IMDZ) was downgraded by analysts at Wells Fargo & Company from an outperform rating to a market perform rating.

Kinder Morgan (NYSE:KMI) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a sell rating. According to Zacks, “Kinder Morgan, Inc,’s focus on natural gas has raised concern amid a sluggish natural gas price environment. We are also cautious considering the risks that includes rising costs associated with organic growth projects.  The company’s total debt now stands higher than equity capital, reflecting balance sheet weakness.  The adversities faced by Trans Mountain pipeline expansion has led to cost over runs. These negatives are reflected in its price chart that has lagged the Zacks sub industry over the past three months. Considering these factors, we see limited upside for Kinder Morgan shares from current levels.”

Michael Kors Holdings Limited (NYSE:KORS) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a buy rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “Shares of Michael Kors have outperformed the industry in the past three months owing to positive earnings streak and upbeat fiscal 2018 guidance. After reporting both top and bottom-line beat in first-quarter fiscal 2018, the company now envisions total revenues for fiscal 2018 to be nearly $4.275 billion, up from the previous estimate of about $4.25 billion. Meanwhile, Michael Kors’ acquisition of Jimmy Choo will help diversify portfolio and tap international markets. The company has been constantly deploying resources to expand product offerings, open new stores, build shop-in-shops and upgrade eCommerce platform. We note that despite the possibility of heavy investments weighing on margins in the short term, management continues to take up strategic endeavors. However, stiff competition, falling comps, aggressive promotional environment and waning mall traffic are making things tough for Michael Kors.”

L-3 Communications Holdings (NYSE:LLL) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a sell rating. According to Zacks, “L3 Technologies’ stock underperformed the broader industry in past one year. The company has been witnessing weak performance in some of its product lines, for quite some time in the past. The most worrying aspect of this is the downward trend in margins for service-related work due to competitive pressure. Moreover, L3 Technologies depend largely on contracts from the U.S. government. If a significant number of the company’s government contracts and subcontracts are simultaneously delayed or cancelled for budgetary, performance or other reasons, it would materially hamper the company’s results of operations and cash flows. Nevertheless, its consistent growth in the commercial aviation space, especially in the matured markets of North America and Europe, is appreciable.”

Mosaic Company (The) (NYSE:MOS) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a sell rating. According to Zacks, “Mosaic has narrowed its volume guidance for phosphate and potash for full-year 2017. The company is exposed to a difficult pricing environment. Lower pricing is hurting sales and margins in its phosphate business and is expected to remain a headwind in the third quarter. Mosaic also faces a challenging operating environment in the agriculture space. It has also underperformed the industry it belongs to over a year.”

Marathon Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:MPC) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a buy rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “Marathon Petroleum's scale advantage, impressive asset quality and extensive midstream/retail network have helped the company to overcome the challenging market conditions.  The downstream operator has handily outperformed the industry over the past 6 months- and 1-year periods. Further, management's positive update on asset dropdowns highlights MPC’s commitment to return more value to shareholders. MPC’s decision to retain its Speedway stores will help it generate long-term returns for shareholders due to healthy merchandise margins. However, the company’s 'Refining’ segment – the main contributor to MPC earnings – has been weighed down by depressed margins. MPC also saw an upswing in product cost that was reflected in higher total expenses. Further, the U.S. refiners are feeling the pinch of higher RFS costs to comply with new cleaner gasoline production rules. Thus we take cautious stance on MPC.”

MRC Global (NYSE:MRC) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a sell rating. According to Zacks, “MRC Global’s second-quarter 2017 earnings missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by a penny. Notably, quarterly gross margin had contracted 60 basis points year over year. Over the last month, the stock has outperformed the industry but we fear that lingering headwinds might dent near-term results. For instance, further slump in oil prices would continue to depress the company’s downstream businesses in the upcoming quarters. Moreover, other headwinds such as foreign currency translation impact or stiff industry rivalry remain major causes of concern as well. Over the last 60 days, Zacks Consensus Estimate for the stock has moved south for 2017.”

Nordson Corporation (NASDAQ:NDSN) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a sell rating. According to Zacks, “Over the last three months, Nordson's shares have underperformed the industry. The company is exposed to risks arising from international diversity and higher costs and debt levels. Also, difficulties or delays in research and development of products, failure of new products and technologies and intense industry rivalry might dent the company's profitability. For the fiscal fourth quarter, the company anticipates net sales to grow 4-8% year over year, including organic volume decline of 3% to 7%. The projections are weaker compared with 20% sales growth and 11% organic volume growth recorded in the previous quarter. In the last 60 days, earnings estimates on the stock decreased for fiscal 2017 and fiscal 2018.”

NRG Energy (NYSE:NRG) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a strong-buy rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “Shares of NRG Energy have gained more than the industry in the last six months. NRG Energy is gaining from its asset drop-down program that is in sync with its long-term growth strategy. Its cost saving measures, debt reduction plans and expansion of renewable operations should further drive growth. It does not depend ona single customer to generate revenues, therefore, migration of customers to other operators have lesser impact on its performance. However, stringent environmental regulations, fluctuating weather conditions and intense competition in the wholesale power markets are headwinds.”

PPG Industries (NYSE:PPG) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a sell rating. According to Zacks, “Earnings estimates for PPG Industries for the third quarter have been going down of late. The company has underperformed the industry it belongs to over a year. PPG Industries faces currency headwind and macroeconomic challenges. Some of its end-markets including marine still remain sluggish. It is also exposed to raw materials cost pressure.”

PetroChina Company Limited (NYSE:PTR) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a sell rating. According to Zacks, “The ongoing oil price weakness and steep cuts in domestic gas supplies to industrial users have kept us bearish on PetroChina. Predictably, the crude price slump has adversely affected the group’s earnings and cash flows, particularly at its upstream unit. Adding to the woes is China’s decision to cut natural gas prices for industrial users that reduced margins in PTR’s gas-wholesale business. Furthermore, China's weakened industrial activity has dampened demand for PTR's products like diesel. Finally, we are concerned about prospects for the company’s oil production growth, considering its heavy exposure to significantly mature-producing areas. A limited international operation and an ambitious investment program gives investors more reason to steer clear of the stock. All these factors are also reflected in the stock price of PTR which has declined about 12% year to date.”

Quanta Services (NYSE:PWR) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a buy rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “Over the past one year, shares of Quanta Services have outperformed that of the industry. Quanta Services remains confident about the prospects of its end markets over the next two years. The company believes CAPEX and OPEX spends will continue to rise as customers are contemplating undertaking work worth billions of dollars. Its communications infrastructure services business is also expected to benefit from present industry trends. However, on the flip side, lack of a commissioner quorum in Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) has put up a lot of major projects on hold, adding to Quanta Services’ woes. Also, project losses and delays, pose as threats. In addition, seasonality and the cancellation of pipeline projects in the oil and gas business are likely to impact the company’s backlog.”

Transocean (NYSE:RIG) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a buy rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “Transocean displays excellent track record of earnings surprise history, beating estimates in the last 16 quarters. We like Transocean's technologically advanced and versatile drilling fleet, strong backlog, healthy financials and considerable pricing power. With the market for offshore rigs unlikely to turn around anytime soon, the company has been selling/stacking older rigs as well as investing in high-specification rigs in order to improve the quality of its fleet. The recent acquisition of Songa Offshore by RIG bodes well for the company as it is expected to strengthen Transocean’s portfolio and boost its backlog. Nevertheless, we expect RIG shares to remain soft until oil prices rebound sufficiently, as deepwater/ultra-deepwater drilling – with its associated risks and steep costs – require a far higher oil price than what is prevailing currently. Thus we take a cautious stance on the prospects of the stock.”

RBC Bearings (NASDAQ:ROLL) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a buy rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “Over the last three months, RBC Bearings’ shares have outperformed the industry. The company reported better-than-expected earnings for first-quarter fiscal 2018. Quarterly earnings came in at 91 cents, comfortably surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 82 cents. In addition, net sales during the reported quarter beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 1.8%. The upswing was stemmed by sturdy sales in both aerospace and industrial end markets. Robust demand, effective integration of Sargent business, lower costs and greater operational efficacy will likely enhance near-term profitability. However, over the last three-month period, the stock looks a bit overvalued compared to the industry. Even so, market headwinds such as weak energy prices, or a stronger U.S. dollar might limit near-term growth. Over the last 60 days, Zacks Consensus Estimate for the stock remained unchanged for both fiscal 2018 and 2019.”

Silgan Holdings (NASDAQ:SLGN) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a sell rating. According to Zacks, “Silgan's adjusted earnings per share (EPS) guidance for 2017 in the range of $1.60–$1.70 reflects year-over-year growth of around 20% at the midpoint. It forecasta free cash flow to be about $220 million for the full year. For the third quarter, the company guides adjusted EPS in the range of 64–71 cents. The stock underperformed the industry year-to-date. Increase in debt and unfavorable foreign currency translation will likely hurt the company’s results.”

Snap-On (NYSE:SNA) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a sell rating. According to Zacks, “Tough macroeconomic conditions have been plaguing Snap-On in recent times. Sluggish oil and gas market activity and softness in industrial markets continue to negatively impact Snap-on’s revenues. Also, instability in the credit and financial markets and lower business & consumer spending will hurt its prospects. This apart, volatility in price of raw materials and ongoing sluggishness in Tools Storage products add to the company’s woes. In addition, over the past three months, Snap-on’s shares have underperformed the industry's average decline. On the positive side, Snap-On has a robust earnings surprise history over the trailing four quarters, having beaten estimates all through. Also, the company has been witnessing encouraging prospects in most of its business lines that will likely unlock new growth avenues going forward.”

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