Analysts’ Upgrades for January, 5th (BDX, CPYYY, MSFT, NGLOY, OCIP, PNLYY, PX, RE, STAF, STI)

Analysts’ upgrades for Friday, January 5th:

Becton Dickinson and (NYSE:BDX) was upgraded by analysts at Citigroup Inc from a sell rating to a neutral rating.

Centrica (OTCMKTS:CPYYY) was upgraded by analysts at Credit Suisse Group AG from a neutral rating to an outperform rating.

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a buy rating. The firm currently has $97.00 price target on the stock. According to Zacks, “Shares of Microsoft, a software company, have outperformed the industry it belongs to in a year. The company is dealing with the recent security bug which poses a huge risk for users.  In this context, it is rolling out patches to fix Windows kernels in order to address the vulnerability. Additionally, Microsoft’s recent blockchain deals with Hapoalim and Accenture and its Coco framework are tailwinds. We expect rapid adoption of Azure and Office 365 to remain the key catalysts in the near future. We believe that collaborations with the likes of Amazon, Red Hat, Symantec, Cray and PAREXEL are positive for the company's growth prospects. We also believe that Microsoft’s strategic initiatives to enter the augmented reality and virtual reality market with the acquisition of Altspace VR and launch of mixed reality headsets will be positives. However, intense competition from Sony’s PS4 is a headwind.”

Anglo American (OTCMKTS:NGLOY) was upgraded by analysts at Jefferies Group LLC from a hold rating to a buy rating.

OCI Partners (NYSE:OCIP) was upgraded by analysts at Citigroup Inc from a sell rating to a neutral rating.

PostNL (OTCMKTS:PNLYY) was upgraded by analysts at Barclays PLC from an underweight rating to an equal weight rating.

Praxair (NYSE:PX) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a buy rating. They currently have $176.00 price target on the stock. According to Zacks, “In the last three months, Praxair's shares have outperformed the industry. We believe that the company is poised to leverage benefits from its diversified product portfolio, a large client base and organic and inorganic growth strategies in the long term. For 2017 (results not yet released), the company anticipates earnings to be within $5.78-$5.83 per share, reflecting 12 cents increase at mid-point compared with the previous guidance of $5.63-$5.75. Also, the company's merger with Linde will create a leading industrial gas company with a strong international presence, a large customer base and solid financial flexibility. Earnings estimates on the stock increased for 2018 in the last 60 days.”

Everest Re Group (NYSE:RE) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a strong-buy rating. Zacks Investment Research currently has $253.00 target price on the stock. According to Zacks, “Everest Re has substantially benefited from its global presence, product diversification, capital adequacy, financial flexibility and traditional risk management capabilities. Strategic endeavors to ramp up growth pave way for long-term growth. It is divesting underperforming business and strengthening reserves. Banking on favorable operational performance the company enjoys disciplined capital management strategy. Further, a competitive reinsurance market and exposure to catastrophe events infusing underwriting volatility remain headwinds. Shares of Everest Re have underperformed the industry in a year. Also, there were no earnings momentum in the last 60 days.”

Staffing 360 Solutions (NASDAQ:STAF) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a buy rating. They currently have $0.75 price target on the stock. According to Zacks, “Staffing 360 Solutions, Inc. is engaged in a global buy-and-build strategy through the acquisition of staffing organizations in the US and the UK. Through both organic growth and acquisitions, the Company provides permanent placement services in the finance and accounting, administrative, engineering and IT staffing space. Staffing 360 Solutions, Inc. is headquartered in New York, with its UK headquarters in London. “

SunTrust Banks (NYSE:STI) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a buy rating. The firm currently has $72.00 target price on the stock. According to Zacks, “SunTrust’s shares have outperformed the industry over the past six months. Also, the company has an impressive earnings surprise history, having surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in three of the trailing four quarters. Easing margin pressure, rise in loan demand and initiatives to control costs should continue to support the company’s profitability. Moreover, improving asset quality is another positive for the company. Further, a lower corporate tax rate is likely to support financials. However, significant exposure to risky loan portfolios and slowdown in mortgage business are the major near-term concerns for the company.”

Stemline Therapeutics (NASDAQ:STML) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a sell rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “Stemline Therapeutics, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company developing oncology therapeutics that target cancer stem cells and tumor bulk. The company is developing SL-401, a biologic-drug conjugate, for relapsed or refractory acute myeloid leukemia; and SL-701, a synthetic peptide vaccine, for pediatric and adult high-grade gliomas. Stemline Therapeutics, Inc. is based in New York. “

Strayer Education (NASDAQ:STRA) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a buy rating. The firm currently has $100.00 price target on the stock. According to Zacks, “Strayer Education’s convenient, accessible and flexible educational programs are designed to meet the educational needs of working adults. Strayer University is reducing the cost of its programs in order to enhance their affordability. Moreover, the acquisition of New York Code and Design Academy is encouraging, given the high demand for web and applications software development professionals.Importantly, Strayer and Capella decided to merge in an all-stock deal of equal transactions, expected to close in the third quarter of 2018. Post completion, Strayer’s shareholders will own approximately 52% of the combined company. The merger is expected to ensure student success, positive employment outcomes and be accretive to Strayer’s earnings by 20% to 25% by 2019. However, tuition cuts and an unfavorable mix of students toward lower undergraduate tuition have resulted in declining revenue per student over the past few quarters.”

Seagate Technology (NASDAQ:STX) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a buy rating. The firm currently has $48.00 target price on the stock. According to Zacks, “Seagate is gaining from the increasing adoption of its Nearline hard-disk drives (HDDs). Growth in the 12-terabyte helium nearline product line was also encouraging. Seagate also benefited from strong growth in non-HDD segment revenues. We believe that Nearline’s rapid adoption will boost Seagate’s competitive position against Western Digital. Notably, the company has joined the Bain-led consortium for the acquisition of Toshiba’s flash memory assets. This will also improve its competitive position in the flash memory market. The company’s efforts in the improvement of areal density with the ramping up of its heat assisted magnetic recording (“HAMR”) technology, which is expected be shipped in 2019, is yet another positive. Notably, shares of Seagatehave outperformed the industry in the past six months. However, stiff competition in the disk drive market and customer concentration remains major risk for Seagate.”

Subsea 7 (OTCMKTS:SUBCY) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a strong sell rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “Subsea 7 S.A., formerly known as Acergy S.A., operates as an engineering, construction and services contractor to the offshore energy industry worldwide. The Company is engaged in the design, fabrication, installation and commissioning of seabed-to-surface projects and its scope of operations include Subsea, Umbilical, Riser and Flowline (SURF) systems; Life-of-Field; Conventional Services and Renewables. Services offered by the Company ranges from engineering and construction for subsea field developments, pipeline and riser systems and associated services, inspection, maintenance and repair, integrity management and remote intervention, fabrication and installation of fixed platforms and associated pipelines, as well as hook-up and platform refurbishment. Subsea 7 S.A. is based in London, United Kingdom. “

Summit Materials (NYSE:SUM) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a strong sell rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “Summit Materials, Inc. is a construction material company. The company supplies aggregates, cement, ready-mix concrete and asphalt primarily in the United States and western Canada. Summit Materials, Inc. is headquartered in Denver, Colorado. “

Summer Infant (NASDAQ:SUMR) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a strong sell rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “Based in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, SUMMER INFANT, INC. is a designer, marketer and distributor of branded durable juvenile health, safety and wellness products (for ages upto three years), which are sold principally to large U.S. retailers. The Company currently sells proprietary products in a number of different categories, including nursery audio/video monitors, safety gates, durable bath products, bed rails, infant thermometers and related nursery, health and safety products, booster and potty seats, soft goods, bouncers, strollers, travel accessories, highchairs and swings. “

United Utilities Group (OTCMKTS:UUGRY) was upgraded by analysts at Credit Suisse Group AG from an underperform rating to a neutral rating.

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