Research Analysts’ Upgrades for February, 12th (ACHC, ADSK, BLN, CAE, CBOE, CIEN, CSRA, EVR, JBL, NWSA)

Research Analysts’ upgrades for Monday, February 12th:

Acadia Healthcare (NASDAQ:ACHC) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a sell rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “Acadia Healthcare is well positioned for long-term growth on the back of its inorganic strategies. Its latest Priory acquisition has substantially enhanced its asset base, making it the largest independent provider of mental health services in the U.K. The stock has seen the Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings being revised 0.8% upward over the last 30 days, which reflects investors' optimism towrads the stock. However, the company suffers from high debt, escalating interest expenses and foreign exchange fluctuation. Substantial integration risks associated with its frequent acquisitions are the major headwinds.”

Autodesk (NASDAQ:ADSK) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a sell rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “Autodesk is gaining from strong growth in product subscriptions. The company's business model transition along with robust product portfolio, accretive acquisitions and strong cash position will fuel long term growth. Autodesk's expanding product portfolio is expected to generate new customers in both domestic and overseas markets. Estimates have been stable lately ahead of the company’s Q4 earnings release. The company has positive record of earnings surprises in recent quarters. However, shares have underperformed the industry in the past year. The restructuring plan will remain an overhang on the stock in the near term. It is also anticipated to remain a drag on margins. The company’s top-line will also continue to be impacted by the business model transition to “ratably” as against realized “upfront” earlier on.”

Blackline Safety (CVE:BLN) was upgraded by analysts at Raymond James Financial, Inc. from a market perform rating to an outperform rating. The firm currently has C$6.00 price target on the stock, up from their previous price target of C$4.50.

CAE (TSE:CAE) (NYSE:CAE) was upgraded by analysts at Royal Bank of Canada from a reduce rating to an outperform rating. The firm currently has C$26.00 target price on the stock, up from their previous target price of C$25.00.

Cboe Global Markets (NASDAQ:CBOE) was upgraded by analysts at Rosenblatt Securities from a neutral rating to a buy rating.

Ciena (NYSE:CIEN) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a sell rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “Ciena is benefiting from increasing demand for Packet Optical, Packet Networking and Optical Transport products. Increasing usage of service management software in the global communication market is a key catalyst. Moreover, the company’s efforts to expand in data center connectivity and broaden its reach in the end-to-end optical and data equipment market is commendable. However, Ciena competes against much larger players in the networking industry, which is a major obstacle for the company. Customer concentration has also been a major factor for Ciena. Uncertainty related to government business and macroeconomic volatility is another headwind. Shares outperformed the industry in the last one year.”

CSRA (NYSE:CSRA) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a strong-buy rating. The firm currently has $35.00 price target on the stock. According to Zacks, “CSRA is the largest pure play government IT service provider. The company reported strong third-quarter fiscal 2018 results. Both earnings and revenues increased on a year-over-year basis. The company is benefiting from contract wins based on its deep domain knowledge and expertise in next-generation IT services. The company's partnerships with the likes of Amazon Web Services, ServiceNow, Microsoft, Cisco Systems, VMware and Oracle are expanding its service offerings thereby driving top-line growth. The company is also expected to benefit from increased spending in defense and various environmental programs. Backed by strong backlog, strategic partnerships and frequent contract wins the company’s long-term growth guidance is significantly positive in our view.”

EVRAZ (LON:EVR) was upgraded by analysts at Goldman Sachs Group Inc to a buy rating. They currently have GBX 430 ($5.94) price target on the stock, up from their previous price target of GBX 300 ($4.14).

Jabil (NYSE:JBL) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a sell rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “Jabil is benefiting from high growth in the healthcare & packaging business. Strong performance of the EMS segment is also a key growth driver. The company is also witnessing robust growth and better product placements, which is further expected to improve owing to strategic acquisitions. The restructuring program is also aiding the company to significantly cut back its expenses while maintaining its production capacities, thereby driving profitability. In the past one-year, the stock has outperformed the industry it belongs to. However, the company is negatively impacted by sluggishness in mobility business, customer concentration and intensifying competition.”

News (NASDAQ:NWSA) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a sell rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “News Corporation is in a transitionary phase looking to diversify revenue streams through strategic acquisitions and operational enhancement. The company is expanding digital offerings, along with greater emphasis on real estate businesses and augmenting digital subscriber base. Further, it has been concentrating on cost cutting. These endeavors have helped the stock outpace the industry in a year and facilitated to post fifth straight quarter of positive earnings surprise in the second quarter of fiscal 2018. The top line also came ahead of the consensus mark for the second straight quarter and grew year over year. Results gained from sturdy performance at the Digital Real Estate Services and Cable Network Programming segments. However, this diversified media conglomerate remains vulnerable to foreign currency headwinds and soft print advertising demand.”

Penske Automotive Group (NYSE:PAG) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a strong-buy rating. Zacks Investment Research currently has $56.00 target price on the stock. According to Zacks, “Penske Automotive earnings and revenues beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate in fourth- quarter 2017. Compared with the year-ago figures, both bottom and the top line were higher. In January, the company completed the acquisition of The Car People and is expected to earn annualized revenues of roughly $300 million from its accretion. Earlier in 2017, it acquired two other used vehicle retailers, namely CarShop and CarSense. These buyouts will develop the company’s used car business segment and increase its customer base. Also, to enhance shareholders’ value, the company has been increasing cash dividends in each sequential quarter and frequently engages in share repurchase programs. Also, in the last three months, Penske Automotive’s shares have outperformed the industry it belongs to.”

Paragon Banking Group (LON:PAG) was upgraded by analysts at Canaccord Genuity to a buy rating. The firm currently has GBX 550 ($7.60) target price on the stock, up from their previous target price of GBX 500 ($6.91).

Skechers USA (NYSE:SKX) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a buy rating. They currently have $46.00 price target on the stock. According to Zacks, “Greater emphasis on new line of products, cost containment efforts, inventory management and global distribution platform has helped lift Skechers’ performance. The company delivered positive earnings surprise in the final quarter of 2017, marking the second straight successive beat. Notably, the spectacular performance in the back-to-back quarters has led the stock to outpace the industry in the past six months. Net sales also beat the estimate for the fifth quarter in row gaining from solid performances at the international wholesale business, company-owned global retail business and domestic wholesale business. Skechers’ domestic e-commerce business, which also contributed to sales growth, continues to gain traction. Management now expects both the top and bottom lines to increase year over year during the first quarter of 2018. However, higher general & administrative expenses remain a concern.”

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