Stock Analysts’ Upgrades for September, 12th (ANF, ARNC, ILMN, KHC, LNC, LPT, MSCC, SMMF, SOCLF, SPNE)

Stock Analysts’ upgrades for Tuesday, September 12th:

Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE:ANF) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a strong-buy rating. The firm currently has $16.00 target price on the stock. According to Zacks, “Abercrombie outperformed the industry year to date driven by strategic capital investments, cost saving efforts, loyalty and marketing programs gaining traction. It posted solid quarterly results in a long time as both top and bottom-line beat in second-quarter fiscal 2017. This was Abercrombie’s first positive earnings surprise in last six quarters, following in-line results in first-quarter. Sales topped for the second straight quarter. The quarter marked a significant progress on its strategic initiatives and reflected strength in Hollister and direct-to-customer businesses. The company also provided an encouraging view for fiscal 2017 and the fiscal second half. Additionally, it expects foreign currency to be a tailwind going forward, reflecting slight gains in sales and operating income. However, Abercrombie’s namesake brand continued to weigh on performance. Moreover, margins remain strained due to a highly promotional backdrop.”

Arconic (NASDAQ:ARNC) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a buy rating. Zacks Investment Research currently has $27.00 target price on the stock. According to Zacks, “Arconic has outperformed the industry it belongs to year to date. The company should gain from its cost-cutting and productivity actions in 2017. Arconic is also seeing strong demand trends in the automotive market.  The company is well placed to capture the growing demand for aluminum sheet stemming from the transition of the North American auto industry to lightweighting. Major contract wins in aerospace are also expected to support its results.”

Illumina (NASDAQ:ILMN) was upgraded by analysts at Leerink Swann to an outperform rating. The firm currently has $225.00 price target on the stock, up from their previous price target of $207.00.

The Kraft Heinz (NASDAQ:KHC) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a sell rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “Kraft Heinz enjoys long-standing consumer recognition. Strong brand portfolio, cost savings initiatives, innovation and marketing efforts boost the growth prospects of the company. Though the company’s net sales have been relatively soft, cost savings have led to better results in the second quarter financial results. Moreover, although Kraft Heinz’s shares have performed better than the industry year to date, estimates are trending downward for 2017 and 2018 over the last 60 days. Soft spending by U.S. shoppers and shift in consumer preference toward natural and organic ingredients over packaged and processed food are hurting the company’s categories.”

Lincoln National Corporation (NYSE:LNC) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a buy rating. Zacks Investment Research currently has $74.00 price target on the stock. According to Zacks, “Over the last one year, Lincoln National’s shares have outperformed the industry.  The company is well positioned for long-term growth on the back of changes made in product and business mix. In order to shield itself from long-term claims variability, the company has been emphasizing on sale of Life products without long-term guarantees. It has also streamlined its business by axing unprofitable and non-core lines. The company’s Group Protection segment which was challenged earlier, has been recovering. The stock has witnessed an upward revision in the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2017 over the past 60 days.”

Liberty Property Trust (NYSE:LPT) 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, “Shares of Liberty Property have outperformed the industry it belongs to, year to date. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year funds from operations (FFO) per share remained unchanged in a month’s time. The company’s premium quality industrial properties located in strategic locations will enable it to capitalize from the increasing demand amid an e-commerce boom and a healthy manufacturing environment. Also, it is poised for growth as fundamentals of the industrial real estate market remain robust, resulting in solid rent growth, enhanced occupancy and development opportunities. Notably, the company’s industrial portfolio was 95.9% leased at the end of second-quarter 2017, reflecting strong demand for space. However, adverse near-term impact on earnings from dispositions and rise in interest rates remain concerns.”

Microsemi Corporation (NASDAQ:MSCC) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a buy rating. The firm currently has $55.00 target price on the stock. According to Zacks, “Microsemi Corporation is an OEM of a broad range of high-reliability and analog/mixed signal integrated circuits. Third-quarter fiscal 2017 non-GAAP earnings beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate while revenues were in line with the same. The company's focus on improving product mix, operational efficiency, and consolidation are driving revenues and margins through 2017. Moreover, we have confidence in the company's strategic positioning, strong fundamentals and growth prospects. Microsemi's scope for margin expansion and decent balance sheet are the other positives. However, pockets of weakness related to product transition at medical customers, push-out of some communications spending in China and a softer oil & gas market continue to impact revenues. Over the last one year, the stock has underperformed the industry it belongs to.”

Summit Financial Group (NASDAQ:SMMF) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a buy rating. Zacks Investment Research currently has $25.00 price target on the stock. According to Zacks, “Summit Financial Group operates thirteen banking locations through its three wholly owned subsidiary banks, Summit Community Bank headquartered in Moorefield, West Virginia, Capital State Bank, Inc. headquartered in Charleston, West Virginia, and Shenandoah Valley National Bank in Winchester, Virginia. Summit also operates Summit Financial, LLC, a residential mortgage loan originator located in Herndon, Virginia. “

Soco International (NASDAQ:SOCLF) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a sell rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “SOCO International plc is an oil and gas exploration and production company. Its properties located in Vietnam, the Republic of Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola. SOCO International plc is headquartered in London, the United Kingdom. “

SeaSpine Holdings Corporation (NASDAQ:SPNE) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a buy rating. The firm currently has $13.00 price target on the stock. According to Zacks, “SeaSpine Holdings Corporation is a medical technology company which focused on the design, development and commercialization of surgical solutions for the treatment of spinal disorders. The company also offers orthobiologics and spinal fusion hardware solutions. SeaSpine Holdings Corporation is headquartered in Vista, California. “

SPIRAX-SARCO ENG (NASDAQ:SPXSF) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a buy rating. Zacks Investment Research currently has $82.00 price target on the stock. According to Zacks, “Spirax-Sarco Engineering plc is a multi-national engineering group. The company’s business segment consists of Spirax Sarco for steam specialties and Watson-Marlow for niche peristaltic pumps and associated fluid path technologies. Spirax-Sarco Engineering plc is headquartered in Cheltenham, the United Kingdom. “

Starwood Property Trust (NYSE:STWD) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a sell rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “Starwood Property Trust, Inc. is a newly formed company that is focused primarily on originating, investing in, financing and managing commercial mortgage loans and other commercial real estate-related debt investments. Starwood Property Trust, Inc. will be externally managed and advised by SPT Management, LLC, an affiliate of Starwood Capital Group and intends to elect to be taxed as a real estate investment trust (REIT) for U.S. federal income tax purposes. “

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