• Wanna Invest In Main Street? Buy Zions Bancorp

    Zions Bancorp (NASDAQ: ZION) has got the seal of approval from none other than Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Following its meeting with the president and chief operations officer of Zions Bancorp, Scott McLean, the firm upgraded the shares of the company Neutral to Buy and raised its price target from $50 to $52.

    The firm indicated that the new price target implied 15-percent upside, before the dividend.

    At the time of writing, Zions Bancorp shares were rallying 0.61 percent to $45.40.

    Analysts Erika Najarian attributed the upgrade not to the bank being rate-sensitive, but to two catalysts for earnings per share upside which the market is under-pricing. The analyst believes Zions Bancorp is the top beneficiary of regulatory reform among regionals. Additionally, BofA Merrill Lynch pointed ...

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  • Paychex Upgraded, And 2 Things That Would Further Increase Morgan Stanley's Constructive View

    Analysts at Morgan Stanley no longer hold a bearish view of Paychex, Inc. (NASDAQ: PAYX) after the stock's 19 percent year-to-date underperformance compared to the S&P 500's track has created a more "balanced" risk to reward profile.

    Morgan Stanley's Danyal Hussain upgrades Paychex's stock rating from Underweight to Equal Weight with an unchanged $55 price target as the stock's premium to the market is now at a 9-year low. Meanwhile, the company's management has acknowledged the elevated pricing pressure from competitors which is factored into the forward-looking guidance. As such, expectations now seem to "adequately capture the stock's downside ...

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  • Dressed To Kill Or Going Out In Style? Analysts Mixed On Ailing Urban Outfitters' Q2 Beat

    Is Urban Outfitters, Inc. (NASDAQ: URBN), once the epitome of hipster chic, in danger of falling completely out of fashion?

    “Fade away or here to stay?” wondered MKM Partners analyst Roxanne Meyer, who rated the kitschy clothier a Sell with a price target of $16. Shares were trading at $20,80, up a fat 23.66 percent on the day because its losses were less than expected.


    Fickle Trends, Fickle Customers

    The stock was soaring despite a poor quarter of comparable store sales, a 4.9-percent drop that nevertheless beat expectations. Revenues dropped 2 percent to $873 million, another beat.

    It reported net income of $50 million, a 35-percent decline year over year.

    Related Link: After A 20% Surge Post Q2 Earnings, ...

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  • Benzinga's Top Upgrades, Downgrades For August 16, 2017

    Top Upgrades

    • Bank of America upgraded Zions Bancorp (NASDAQ: ZION) from Neutral to Buy. Zions Bancorp shares rose 0.58 percent to close at $45.13 on Tuesday.
    • Analysts at Citigroup upgraded Mylan N.V. (NASDAQ: MYL) from Neutral to Buy. Mylan shares rose 3.55 percent to $31.20 in pre-market trading.
    • Analysts at Morgan Stanley upgraded UDR, Inc. (NYSE: UDR) from Underweight to Equal-Weight. UDR shares rose 0.31 percent to close at $39.13 on Tuesday.
    • Raymond James upgraded Home Depot Inc (NYSE: HD) from Market Perform to Outperform. Home Depot shares rose 0.42 percent to $150.80 in pre-market trading.
    • Analysts at Bank of America upgraded Spirit Realty Capital, Inc (New) (NYSE: SRC) from Underperform to Buy. Spirit Realty Capital shares gained 2.59 percent to $8.70 in pre-market trading.
    • Morgan Stanley upgraded Paychex, Inc. (NASDAQ: PAYX) from Underweight to Equal-Weight. Paychex shares rose 1.22 percent to close at $55.59 on Tuesday.
    • Analysts at Bank of America upgraded Eastgroup Properties Inc (NYSE: EGP) from Neutral to Buy. EastGroup Properties shares dropped 0.73 percent to close at $85.57 on Tuesday.

    Top Downgrades

    • Analysts at Jefferies downgraded Chicago Bridge & Iron Company N.V. (NYSE: CBI) from Buy to Hold. Chicago Bridge & Iron shares fell 8.43 percent to close at $11.19 on Tuesday.
    • Susquehanna downgraded Dicks Sporting Goods Inc (NYSE: DKS) from Positive to Neutral. Dick's Sporting shares fell 1.15 percent to $26.56 in ...

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  • Increased Confidence In M&A Earns Iberiabank Stock An Upgrade

    Analysts at Piper Jaffray turned bullish on IBERIABANK Corp (NASDAQ: IBKC), a $4 billion bank with hundreds of offices in 10 states mostly throughout the Southern U.S. The firm's Peyton Green upgraded Iberiabank's stock rating from Neutral to Overweight with a newly established $89 price target.

    The analyst's upgrade stems from Iberiabank's $1.03 billion acquisition of Sabadell United, a financial institution with 25 offices mostly in the Miami metropolitan region. Green recently met with Iberiabank's management team who expressed more confidence in the integration and earnings ramp from the acquisition.

    "It was clear to us that this view was shared across the integration team — many of whom ...

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  • Sell-Side Likes NetApp Heading Into Its Q1 Earnings Report

    Ahead of NetApp Inc. (NASDAQ: NTAP)'s fiscal year first-quarter results, scheduled for after the market close Wednesday, analysts sound bullish on the hybrid cloud services provider.

    Longbow Research's Joe Wittine upgraded shares of NetApp from Neutral to Buy with a $50 price target and Susquehanna Financial Group analyst Mehdi Hosseini maintains its Positive rating and raised its price target from $48 to $50.

    Bullish Due To Share Gains

    Longbow Research said share gains, which have continued into early 2018 and the upcoming HCI, or Hyperconverged Infrastructure, launch can drive positive estimate revisions. The firm's survey revealed that NetApp share gains have come at the expense of Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co (NYSE: HPE) and Dell EMC. The firm also believes Pure Storage Inc (NYSE: PSTG) is another beneficiary.


    Presenting the other takeaways from its survey, the firm said the channel is more enthusiastic about NetApp's strategy and vision.

    "Views on NetApp HCI are mixed, including some teeth gnashing it isn't 'true' hyperconverged, while others believe ...

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  • VIP Strength Leads Deutsche Bank To Upgrade Wynn To Buy

    Analysts at Deutsche Bank turned bullish on casino operator Wynn Resorts, Limited (NASDAQ: WYNN) after a reconfiguration of the casino floor in Wynn Palace to attract more visitors is showing signs of success. The firm's Carlo Santarelli upgraded Wynn's stock rating from Hold to Buy with a price target boosted from $138 to $150.

    The analyst's checks of the casino's floor reconfiguration should give investors sufficient confidence that recent poor trends could reverse. Specifically, a 5-percent sequential drop in mass table performance during the second quarter and a 22-percent sequential drop in property EBITDA caused the stock to ...

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  • Analyst Turns Positive On Flowserve; Setup Has Become 'Much More Favorable'

    Susquehanna Financial Group analyst Robert Barry has increasingly turned positive on Flowserve Corp (NYSE: FLS), citing the setup and the risk/reward, which have turned much more favorable.

    Accordingly, Barry upgraded shares of Flowserve from Neutral to Positive but lowered its price target from $50 to $46.

    Susquehanna noted that its 2017 and 2018 earnings per share estimates are reduced by 22 percent and 7 percent, respectively, following its post-second-quarter model overhaul. However, the firm said the cuts were based on operational issues confined to one segment, which it believes would be rectified by the management.


    The firm continues to expect substantial upside potential for segment margins from near breakeven at second quarter to a high-single-digit percentage over the next 1–3-year period. The ...

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  • Snap Wins An Upgrade Following Lock-Up Expiration, Q2 Results

    Analysts at Cantor Fitzgerald turned bullish on Snap Inc (NYSE: SNAP) to reflect a "significant shift" in the stock's risk to reward profile after the lockup expiration and the company's second-quarter earnings report. The firm's Kip Paulson upgraded Snap's stock rating from Neutral to Overweight with an unchanged $15 price target.

    Snap's lock-up expiration started more than two weeks ago and any negative impact on the hundreds of millions of shares that can now be openly sold should be behind the company, Paulson argued. Also, Snap's co-founders Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy confirmed they won't be selling any of their approximate 190 million shares this year.

    Meanwhile, Snap's second-quarter earnings ...

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  • Benzinga's Top Upgrades, Downgrades For August 15, 2017

    Top Upgrades

    • Analysts at Goldman Sachs upgraded GoPro Inc (NASDAQ: GPRO) from Sell to Neutral. GoPro shares rose 3.70 percent to $10.10 in pre-market trading.
    • Analysts at Cantor Fitzgerald upgraded Snap Inc (NYSE: SNAP) from Neutral to Overweight. Snap shares rose 3.57 percent to $13.05 in pre-market trading.
    • Deutsche Bank upgraded Wynn Resorts, Limited (NASDAQ: WYNN) from Hold to Buy. Wynn Resorts shares rose 2.45 percent to $131.32 in pre-market trading.
    • Piper Jaffray upgraded IBERIABANK Corp (NASDAQ: IBKC) from Neutral to Overweight. IBERIABANK shares rose 1.07 percent to $80.05 in pre-market trading.
    • Guggenheim upgraded Nabors Industries Ltd. (NYSE: NBR) from Neutral to Buy. Nabors Industries shares rose 2.56 percent to $6.80 in pre-market trading.
    • Analysts at Longbow Research upgraded NetApp Inc. (NASDAQ: NTAP) from Neutral to Buy. NetApp shares gained 1.69 percent to $42.74 in pre-market trading.
    • Analysts at FBR Capital upgraded American Eagle Outfitters (NYSE: AEO) from Neutral to Buy. American Eagle shares gained 0.18 percent to $10.98 in pre-market trading.
    • JP Morgan upgraded Cabot Corp (NYSE: CBT) from Neutral to Overweight. Cabot shares gained 0.70 percent to close at $51.94 on Monday.
    • Cantor Fitzgerald upgraded Allscripts Healthcare Solutions Inc (NASDAQ: MDRX) from Neutral to Overweight. Allscripts Healthcare shares rose 0.47 percent to close at $12.73 on Monday.
    • Jefferies upgraded Sabra Health Care REIT Inc (NASDAQ: SBRA) from Hold to Buy. Sabra Health Care shares rose 2.38 percent to $22.38 in pre-market trading.

    Top Downgrades

    • Analysts at Goldman Sachs downgraded Corning Incorporated (NYSE: GLW) from Neutral to ...

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  • Goldman Removes GoPro From Sell List Ahead Of Product Launch

    Analysts at Goldman Sachs no longer hold a bearish view on GoPro Inc (NASDAQ: GPRO) as the upcoming launch of its HERO6 camera could prove to be a catalyst for the stock. The firm's Doug Clark upgrades GoPro's stock from Sell to Neutral with a price target boosted from $6.75 to $10.

    From a historical standpoint the launch of a new camera has been a positive catalyst as GoPro's stock outperformed the S&P 500 index into and out of product launches, Clark argued. But this time around, the company will follow up with its 360-degree Fusion camera into ...

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  • Strip Malls Vs. Shopping Malls, And Why Brixmor Is Now A Buy

    Strip malls are in better shape than their enclosed counterparts, prompting Mizuho analyst Haendel St. Juste to upgrade Brixmor Property Group Inc (NYSE: BRX), which has one of the country’s largest portfolios of strip malls, from Neutral to Buy.

    It’s been a tough year for retail REITs in general, with store closings and e-commerce slowing growth. But St. Juste said the upgrade of Brixmor is the result of favorable valuation and growth compared with its peers.

    He set a price target of $22 (see his track record here).

    Related Link: With ...

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  • Walmart's Aggressive Online Expansion Should Please Investors

    Wal-Mart Stores Inc (NYSE: WMT)'s aggressive expansion in its online business will likely help continue the company's momentum when second-quarter earnings are announced on Thursday, analysts say.

    “While the broader retail backdrop has been choppy, we believe ongoing investments in people (training academies), technology (new tools/apps to help manage inventory/in-stocks), and price are helping WMT gain share,” Baird analyst Peter Benedict said in a note.

    He reiterated the firms Outperform rating and $85 price target. He expects earnings of $1.05 per share based on solid operating results.

    “We also expect momentum from key omni-channel initiatives (online grocery, free two-day shipping on orders >$35, pickup discounts on non-store ...

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  • FirstEnergy Unit's Bankruptcy A Bigger Catalyst Than It Seemed?

    Electric utility FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE)'s First Energy Solutions, or FES, subsidiary is on the verge of filing for bankruptcy.

    Against this backdrop, Evercore ISI upgraded shares of FirstEnergy on its view that bankruptcy implications for its FES subsidiary is more palatable than its previous assessment. As such, the firm upgraded FirstEnergy from In Line to Outperform and also increased its price target from $30 to $35.

    Analysts Greg Gordon and Kevin Prior said FirstEnergy's financial exposure to an FES bankruptcy could be less than the $1.2 billion they were expecting in May, when they downgraded shares from Outperform to In Line. The analysts added they're now more comfortable regarding some of those financial exposures, like ...

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  • Antero Midstream's Weakness Belies Its Investment Potential

    Shares of Antero Midstream Partners LP (NYSE: AM) represent an opportunity to buy into the growth of Appalachian energy production, according to Stifel.

    The Denver-based company, which services natural gas and oil production by Antero Resources Corp (NYSE: AR), has seen “continued weakness,” analyst Brian Brungardt Jr. said in a Sunday note.

    One factor in the weak pricing could be delays in permit approvals for Appalachia projects due to a lack of a quorum at the Federal Energy Regulatory ...

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