Investment Analysts’ Updated EPS Estimates for February, 13th (ABB, AGYS, AKAM, CC, CTSH, ENS, L, LGF.A, LSXMA, MAS)

Investment Analysts’ updated eps estimates for Monday, February 13th:

ABB (NYSE:ABB) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a buy rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “ABB’s fourth-quarter 2016 operational earnings were down 5% from the year-ago tally, but beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 22.2%. Steady revenues and diligent cost-saving initiatives proved conducive to earnings growth, but this was more than offset by tough macroeconomic and geopolitical conditions. The company’s shares have performed in line with the categorized Machinery Electric industry average. ABB’s recently revamped “Next Level Strategy” helped it deliver top line growth, order improvement and margin expansion. However, on the flip side, volatility in oil & gas markets and uncertainty in the process industries will likely to be major headwinds for ABB. Also, lower capital spending in ABB’s key upstream energy end-markets will hurt its prospects. Additionally, stiff competitive environment, volatility in raw material prices and dwindling customer expenditure are expected to be major concerns.”

Agilysys (NASDAQ:AGYS) was upgraded by analysts at Sidoti from a neutral rating to a buy rating. Sidoti currently has $11.00 target price on the stock.

Akamai Technologies (NASDAQ:AKAM) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a sell rating. According to Zacks, “Akamai is likely to benefit from the rising demand for cloud infrastructure solutions, security, mobile products and online video. Additionally, it is likely to gain from its strong foothold in the web applications domain. New products like Enterprise Application Access (EAA) and the Enterprise Threat Protector (ETP) service will expand customer base going ahead. However, DIY initiatives by the large Internet companies remain a concern for the company’s media delivery business. Moreover, recently launched products like Bot Manager and Image Manager will take some time to fully penetrate the market. Hence, we don’t expect revenue growth to accelerate at least in the near term. Further, faster increase in capital expenditure and increasing headcount investment will keep margins under pressure in full year 2017.”

Chemours Company (The) (NYSE:CC) was upgraded by analysts at Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) from a neutral rating to a buy rating.

Cognizant Technology Solutions Corporation (NASDAQ:CTSH) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a sell rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “Cognizant reported lower-than-expected fourth quarter 2016 results. However, Cognizant’s announcement of enhanced focus on expanding digital capabilities and an extensive capital buyback program overshadowed dismal quarterly performance. Cognizant remains well positioned to benefit from strong demand from digitization of businesses. High quality, lower cost technology services and strategic partnership with the likes of Microsoft and SAP SE are big positives for the company. Over the past six months, the company shares have outperformed the Zacks categorized business Software Service/BPO Industry. However, macroeconomic headwinds and sluggish spending levels in its healthcare and financial sectors have emerged as big concerns. Intense competition in the IT service industry, rising wages and customer concentration are the other challenges. “

Enersys (NYSE:ENS) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a buy rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “EnerSys kept its recent streak of earnings beats alive in its third-quarter fiscal 2017 results as earnings topped the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 4.4% and improved substantially from the year-ago tally. The bottom line was driven mainly by the company’s diligent restructuring initiatives, lower commodity costs and positive mix. Going forward, we believe that positive industry trend and strong sales of products, like lead chargers and battery management systems, will drive growth of Motive business. However, lackluster global telecommunications spending and softness in certain key markets are likely to weigh on the company’s profits. Also, foreign currency fluctuations and higher operating expenses may prove to be significant headwinds, dampening growth prospects. Moreover, an ongoing trend of consolidation among industrial battery purchasers has been creating pricing pressure, adding to the company’s woes.”

Loews Corporation (NYSE:L) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a buy rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “Loews’ fourth-quarter earnings beat expectations driven by better performance at CNA Financial and Boardwalk Pipeline Partners’ and improved results from the parent company’s investment portfolio. Lower earnings at Diamond Offshore and Boardwalk Pipeline were partial dampeners. Nonetheless, Loews Hotels remains on growth track as most properties witnessed higher income. The Boardwalk unit is poised to capitalize on increasing exports of natural gas and pipeline exports to Mexico as well as industrial demand for natural gas and liquids. However, market conditions continue to remain tough for Diamond Offshore, though with new drilling rigs that are contracted through 2019 and demand for oil growing, Loews remains optimistic over medium and long term. Shares of Loews have underperformed the Zacks categorized Multi line industry since it announced fourth-quarter results.”

Lions Gate Entertainment Co. Class A Voting Shares (NASDAQ:LGF.A) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a buy rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “Lions Gate has underperformed the Zacks categorized industry in the past six months. In third-quarter fiscal 2017, Lions Gate’s adjusted net income declined substantially, a major concern for the investors. However, in an effort to enhance competitive position, maximize return and build a diversified portfolio, Lions Gate has been making strategic investments and buyouts, such as that of Starz. The addition of Starz will aid the company to become a major player in the TV space and also help it to regain lost ground in streaming network. Further, with the increasing popularity of eSports, Lions Gate has invested in the eSports franchise The Immortals. However, the motion picture industry is highly competitive, and Lions Gate has to continually strive to maintain their share of box office receipts. Moreover, the escalating cost of motion picture production and marketing in recent years may jeopardize the company’s margins.”

Liberty Media Corporation (NASDAQ:LSXMA) had its buy rating reiterated by analysts at FBR & Co. They currently have a $48.00 target price on the stock. The analysts wrote, “With this note, we update our Liberty SiriusXM SOTP—a stock tracking Liberty Media Corporation’s ownership of SiriusXM—factoring in our new Sirius price target, which we increased $0.25 to $5.25 after Sirius reported 4Q16 earnings on February 2.””

Masco Corporation (NYSE:MAS) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a sell rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “Though Masco’s adjusted earnings in the fourth quarter missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 2.9%, it increased 14% on a year over year basis. Net sales surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 0.6% and grew 3% year over year. Increasing demand for repair and remodeling and new home construction products is driving sales. Adjusted gross margin improved 150 basis points. Masco has several major products lined up for release in the first half of 2017, which can be expected to boost growth. However, Cabinets and Related Products revenues declined 8% year over year due to the exit of the company from lower margin business in the builder channel. Over the past three months. Meanwhile, unfavorable foreign currency translation which hurt sales in 2016, is expected to hurt 2017 sales by approximately $100 million.”

Palo Alto Networks (NYSE:PANW) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a buy rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “Palo Alto Networks offers network security solutions to enterprises, service providers and government entities worldwide. The stock has outperformed the broader IT Services industry last year. Revenue growth seems to be steady, aided by strength across all its geographical regions and business segments. Also, customer wins coupled with expansion of the existing customer base are the other positives. We believe that the company’s product refreshes will boost revenues, going forward. Nonetheless, a volatile spending environment and competition from Cisco Systems and Check Point Software Technologies remain concerns.”

Reynolds American (NYSE:RAI) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a sell rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “After reporting negative surprises for the past two quarters Reynolds finally turned over and reported positive surprise during the fourth quarter 2016. The company’s fourth quarter earnings of $0.62 surpassed Zacks Consensus Estimate by 3.33% and year ago results by 29.2%. The shares of this tobacco maker outperformed the Zacks categorized Tobacco industry in the last three months. Despite high excise tax and anti-smoking regulations, the Newport brand has been performing strongly. Further, investors are curious if British American will bid higher to buy Reynolds American's remaining stake, after the rejection of initial bid. However, Reynolds continues to struggle due to increased competition in the vapor category, declining volumes, strict anti-smoking regulations by governments globally and currency headwinds. Reynolds is losing share in Moist Snuff segment and the performance of Camel brand remains under pressure.”

Sage Therapeutics (NASDAQ:SAGE) had its buy rating reiterated by analysts at Cowen and Company. The firm currently has a $95.00 price target on the stock. The analysts wrote, “Today SAGE announced positive top-line results from its Ph2 OL trial of SAGE-217 in.””

Transdigm Group (NYSE:TDG) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a sell rating to a buy rating. The firm currently has $283.00 target price on the stock. According to Zacks, “TransDigm reported striking first-quarter fiscal 2017 results, as earnings beat estimates, and registered an increase of nearly 15% year over year, driven by remarkable top line growth. While successful productivity efforts and favorable product mix boosted profits, revenue growth was driven by organic sales growth as well as by TransDigm’s acquired businesses, including Data Device Corporation, PneuDraulics and Breeze. Particularly, commercial aftermarket revenues sustained their robust momentum and contributed substantially to top line expansion. Encouraged by the impressive results and contribution from the recent acquisitions, the company raised its guidance for fiscal 2017. TransDigm is particularly confident about commercial aftermarket growth, as well as commercial OEM revenues. However, decline in commercial OEM revenues, escalating debt burden and a sharp rise in interest expenses continue to be matters of concern for TransDigm.”

Thermo Fisher Scientific (NYSE:TMO) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a sell rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “Thermo Fisher ended the year 2016 on a mixed note with adjusted earnings ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate and sales lagging the same. We remain encouraged by the company’s recent product launches along with strong emerging markets growth. In this regard, over the past three months, Thermo Fisher traded neck on neck with the Zacks categorized Medical Instruments industry. However, the company has started to outdo the broader industry on strong fourth-quarter bottom line performance and a solid outlook. We also look forward to Thermo Fisher’s acquisition of FEI Company which is going to boost its performance in life-science research. We also await the integration and expected synergy of Affimetrix. On the flip side, as expected, Thermo Fisher’s top-line performance in the quarter was affected by four less selling days resulting in flat organic growth. Competitive pressure and currency headwinds add further woes.”

United Dominion Realty Trust (NYSE:UDR) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a sell rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “Backed by growth in revenues, UDR came up with a better-than-expected performance for fourth-quarter 2016, reporting funds from operations (FFO) as adjusted per share of $0.46, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate by a penny. Growth in revenue from same-store and stabilized, non-mature communities attributed to this increase. It also announced a 2017 annualized dividend per share of $1.24, denoting an increase of 5% over the prior year. With a superior portfolio in the targeted U.S. markets and disciplined capital allocation, UDR is well poised to grow. However, new supply and elevated concession levels are likely to make the market choppy in the near term. Further, rate hike adds to its woes. Amid these, shares of UDR underperformed the Zacks categorized REIT – Equity Trust – Residential industry over the past three months. However, in the past seven days estimates for FFO per share for full-year 2017 have remained unchanged.”

World Wrestling Entertainment (NYSE:WWE) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a sell rating. According to Zacks, “Although World Wrestling Entertainment shares have comfortably outperformed the Zacks categorized industry in the past one year, the trend might reverse in the near term due to decline in earnings estimate for the first quarter and full year 2017. Recently, the company reported the fourth quarter of 2016 earnings, which came in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate after missing in the previous two quarters. However, continuous decline in pay-per-view and home entertainment revenues have been concern for investors. Competition in the entertainment video space has increased significantly and might become more intense in the coming days. Nevertheless, WWE is executing a five-part strategy to strengthen and expand the WWE Network, which includes creating new content, implementing programs that will have higher customer attraction and retention power, introducing new features, expanding distribution platforms and entering into new regions.”

ZELTIQ Aesthetics (NASDAQ:ZLTQ) was downgraded by analysts at Maxim Group from a buy rating to a hold rating.

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