Equities Research Analysts’ Upgrades for January, 29th (AJG, ALGN, BP, CAH, E, ECL, ETP, GOOGL, GT, HP)

Equities Research Analysts’ upgrades for Monday, January 29th:

Arthur J Gallagher & Co (NYSE:AJG) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a strong-buy rating. They currently have $81.00 target price on the stock. According to Zacks, “Arthur J. Gallagher’s bottom line beat expectations, driven by solid organic growth, outstanding revenue improvement from the tuck-in mergers and acquisitions and a strong margin expansion. Shares of Arthur J. Gallagher have outperformed the industry in a year's time. Arthur J. Gallagher’s inorganic story seems impressive with strategic buyouts, the pipeline remaining strong with about $300 million of revenues. The company remains focused on tapping opportunities in the U.K., Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the U.S. The company remains focused on enhancing productivity and quality that is part of its value creation strategy. A solid performance is leading to sufficient cash flows and helps the company deploy capital in shareholder-friendly moves. However, escalating expenses and weak commercial P&C rates pose concerns.”

Align Technology (NASDAQ:ALGN) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a buy rating. The firm currently has $318.00 target price on the stock. According to Zacks, “Post a promising third-quarter 2017 performance by Align Technology, we are encouraged by the company’s solid InvisAlign prospects and growth in North America and internationally, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region. We are particularly impressed with soaring demand for the InvisAlign products in the teen market worldwide. We are also upbeat about the company signing of a distribution agreement with Patterson Dental. The company’s receipt of two U.S. patents for SmartTrack InvisAlign Aligner material buoys optimism. Notably, over the past three months, Align Technology has been trading above the broader industry. On the flip side, adverse foreign currency fluctuation is a concern. Moreover, tough competition and macroeconomic headwinds continue to weigh on the stock.”

BP (NYSE:BP) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a strong-buy rating. They currently have $50.00 target price on the stock. According to Zacks, “BP has rallied 21.8% over the past year, outperforming the 18.5% gain of the Zacks Oil International Integrated industry. We appreciate the British energy giant’s renewed share repurchase program. Moreover, a rising cash balance over the last three quarters reflects the strength in BP’s financials. The integrated player expects its major upstream projects like Clair Ridge and Juniper developments to fetch significant cash flow starting 2020 and beyond. For financing the upstream developments, the company’s decision to divest Bruce assets is commendable. Over the last two years, BP has been offering higher dividends than the industry despite weakness in oil. Presently, the company’s dividend yield of 5.4% is way higher than the 3.5% yield of the broader industry, courtesy of the company’s secure and stable operations. “

Cardinal Health (NYSE:CAH) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a buy rating. The firm currently has $84.00 target price on the stock. According to Zacks, “Over the last year, Cardinal Health has underperformed the broader industry with respect to price. However, a solid fiscal 2018 guidance instills our confidence in the stock. Also, Cardinal Health ended first-quarter on a solid note, courtesy of an encouraging performance at the Medical segment. The Pharmaceutical segment witnessed strong growth in the Specialty business and gained a huge number of Pharmaceutical Distribution customers. Furthermore, the company is banking on strategic buyouts, joint ventures and supply agreements to drive growth. On the flipside, despite growth in business, profits at the Pharmaceutical segment were hurt by generic pharmaceutical pricing, which is a major headwind. Intensifying competition and customer concentration are other bottlenecks. A sluggish macroeconomic scenario and tough product pricing environment are likely to impede growth.”

ENI (NYSE:E) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a buy rating. The firm currently has $42.00 target price on the stock. According to Zacks, “Eni expects oil and gas production in 2017-2020 to grow at 3% per year.  For 2017, Eni projects oil and natural gas output at 1.84 million (BOE/D), up 5% year over year. Start-up of new upstream projects in Ghana, Angola, Indonesia, Mexico as well as Egypt have been supporting Eni's crude production growth. Eni commenced natural gas production in Zohr field, located off the coast of Egypt. This new start up would add considerably to the company’s production. Moreover, Eni’s exit from low-profit operations and broadening of its international asset base hold promise. Eni completely exited from the gas sector in Hungary with the sale of its stake in Tigaz Zrt. On top of that, enhancing oil and gas productions from key upstream projects while maintaining lower capital spending helped the company to generate organic cash balance of €5 billion. Eni expects to fund its future capital spending and dividend payments from this fund.”

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a buy rating. Zacks Investment Research currently has $155.00 price target on the stock. According to Zacks, “Ecolab Inc. has outperformed the industry over the last year. The solid performance came on the back of business gains and better pricing, which more than offset higher delivery product costs. Strength in the Global Institutional segment led by growth in the Specialty and Healthcare business lines is a positive. We believe a robust product portfolio and expanding customer base will drive organic sales over the long haul. On the flipside, the company expects a significant impact of the hurricanes on fourth-quarter sales and costs. Ecolab operates in highly competitive markets, which might mar its prospects over the long haul. We believe volatility in foreign currency exchange rates will remain a significant headwind for the company. Ecolab faces pricing  pressure in the Energy segment which is likely to hurt profits.”

Energy Transfer Partners (NYSE:ETP) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a sell rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “Energy Transfer Partners is well poised to grow on the back of its geographically dispersed asset mix. ETP is reaping rewards from its major projects including Rover Pipeline, Bakken Pipeline and Permian Express 3 which are expected to strengthen the growth momentum of the partnership in the future. Further, Sunoco’s merger with Energy Transfer has boosted the growth and value of the partnership and is likely to lead to $200 million of cost savings by 2019. Acquisition of PennTex is also expected to provide additional long term opportunities to ETP. We also like ETP's growing cash distribution which witnessed a year-over-year increase of over 40% in the recent quarter. However, we need to factor the high debt, declining unit price and the opposition which ETP's Dakota Access Pipeline is facing from the environmentalists. As such, we take a cautious stance on the prospects of the stock.”

Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a buy rating. The firm currently has $1,330.00 target price on the stock. According to Zacks, “Alphabet's stock has outperformed the industry it belongs to on a 12-month basis. Alphabet's strong advertising revenues and improving paid click growth remain the growth drivers. Its focus on innovation, AI, cloud, home automation space, strategic acquisitions and Android OS should continue to generate strong cash flows. Alphabet has shown good execution to date, more or less maintaining its dominant share in a competitive, fast-growing search market. Its diversification strategy is also positive, but requires significant investment and involves uncertain payback periods, particularly since these efforts are at the cutting edge of technology.  However, increasing litigation issues could continue to impact the company’s profits.”

Goodyear Tire & Rubber (NASDAQ:GT) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a buy rating. Zacks Investment Research currently has $40.00 target price on the stock. According to Zacks, “The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Goodyear's quarterly earnings has been going up of late. It regularly launches innovative products and services to boost sales. Recently, it announced its plan to partner with STRATIM to launch its fleet services business model for shared mobility providers with an aim to advance urban fleet operations. The company also invests in projects having a high rate of return. It has plans to construct a facility in Luxembourg, scheduled to open in 2019. The plant will be used for manufacturing premium tires. Further, it is also trying to boost its shareholder value, strengthen the balance sheet and restructure its senior debt. Also, in the last six months, Goodyear's shares have outperformed in the industry it belongs to.”

Helmerich & Payne (NYSE:HP) was upgraded by analysts at Societe Generale from a hold rating to a buy rating.

Maxim Integrated Products (NASDAQ:MXIM) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a sell rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “Maxim has a solid portfolio that generates steady design wins, a highly profitable and well-diversified core business, a policy of maintaining efficiency that has led to cost cutting measures and regular cash returns. The diversification of the consumer revenue across a variety of tablets, wearables, peripherals and smartphones is adding stability to the company’s business profile. However, Maxim’s exposure to the consumer and communications markets increases risks. High dependence on Samsung poses significant threat for the company. On a 12-month basis, the stock has outperformed the industry to which it belongs to.”

Rogers Communications (NYSE:RCI) (TSE:RCI.B) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a sell rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “Rogers Communications posted mixed fourth-quarter 2017 financial results. The company’s wireless and cable segment has been doing well with huge wireless and high-speed internet subscriber gain. We are bullish about the company’s wireless growth from the roll out of lower block spectrum and offering of Internet of Things as a service to business enterprises. Over the past one year, the stock price grew 14.3% beating the industry's gain of 7.2%. The company has maintained its position as the largest integrated-telecom operator in Canada. On the other hand, the company’s operation in an intensely competitive wireless and cable TV industry remains a concern. The company’s media segment continues to remain affected by continued softness in the advertising market. Rogers lost 13,000 video subscribers in the reported quarter, due to cord-cutting.”

Teradyne (NYSE:TER) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a buy rating. They currently have $53.00 price target on the stock. According to Zacks, “Teradyne has outperformed the industry it belongs to on a 12-month basis. The company delivered strong fourth-quarter results driven by robust performance in Semiconductor and System Test Businesses. Moreover, a recovery in the core semiconductor business (processors, MCUs and power management) will continue to boost total revenues. We believe that the company has signficant growth opportunities in the high-growth wireless test market in the long-haul. Additionally, growing memory market exposure, strong product lineup, lean cost structure and strong balance sheet are positives. Given the popularity of its products, the Universal Robots acquisition and the continuous design win momentum; the company is optimistic long-term prospects. However, volatility in the test market could be a concern in the near term.”

Receive News & Ratings for Arthur J Gallagher & Co Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Arthur J Gallagher & Co and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.

Leave a Reply