Analysts’ downgrades for Wednesday, August 16th:

Big Lots (NYSE:BIG) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a buy rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “Shares of Big Lots have outperformed the industry in the past three months. The company's strategic endeavors, recent uptrend in the gross margin and positive earnings surprise streak in the last six quarters, all indicate that stock is likely to carry the momentum going forward. In the first-quarter fiscal 2017, the company not only reported robust earnings but also surpassed the guidance range provided previously. Moreover, following better-than-expected first-quarter earnings the company raised fiscal 2017 guidance and now expects adjusted earnings in the $4.05–$4.20, up from the earlier guidance of $3.95–$4.10. While the company’s dismal top-line performance in the trailing four quarters has been a cause of worry, its furniture financing programs has been consistently gaining traction. Further, the challenging retail landscape, aggressive promotional strategies and waning store traffic might weigh on the performance.”

CACI International (NYSE:CACI) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a buy rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “CACI International intends to drive operational excellence by intensively focusing on its organic and inorganic growth strategy and strengthening its existing customer relationships while building newer ones. The company further anticipates to significantly benefit from its cost-reduction program and increased its earlier guidance for fiscal 2017. CACI International also remains focused on its strategy to grow in larger markets, drive operational excellence, and leverage mergers and acquisitions to increase its market share and create long-term value for its shareholders. However, macroeconomic challenges, foreign currency volatility and regulatory pressure remain potential headwinds for the company. CACI International has to continuously invest in value drivers that act as a hedge against competition. The company has underperformed the industry year to date.”

Flowserve Corporation (NYSE:FLS) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a strong sell rating. According to Zacks, “Flowserve’s second quarter 2017 adjusted earnings missed the Zacks Consensus Estimates dismally. Also, its earnings plunged 31.3% year over year. Precipitous, broad-based top-line decline, owing to macroeconomic volatility as well as foreign currency headwinds, proved to be the primary drag for the bottom line. In addition, cautious spending by clients, loss of sales leverage and related under-absorption has been hurting the company’s profitability. Capital spending deferrals and reduced activity in its key markets are proving to be major concerns. Also, escalating realignment costs are likely to pressurize short-term margin performance. Its shares have underperformed the industry over the past six months. However, Flowserve’s leading position in the flow control industry, strong aftermarket business and geographical diversity are expected to offset some of these challenges. “

Fresenius Medical Care Corporation (NYSE:FMS) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a strong-buy rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “Fresenius Medical Care has had a disappointing run on the bourse on a year-to-date basis. The company  ended the second quarter on a mixed note wherein adjusted earnings missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate, while revenues beat the same. Fresenius Medical Care reiterated its full-year guidance. We believe this is in tune with the company’s long-term objective or the ‘Growth Strategy 2020’, wherein it aims to drive revenues to $28 billion by 2020, corresponding to an average annual growth rate of 10%. A wide range of dialysis products, initiatives to attain market traction, solid international foothold, strategic acquisitions and divestments are major catalysts. Fresenius Medical Care has signed an agreement to acquire NxStage Medical for $2 billion. However, a tough regulatory environment, difficulties in boosting the profit margin in foreign legal paradigms and competition in the niche markets are major headwinds.”

Fomento Economico Mexicano S.A.B. de C.V. (NYSE:FMX) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a buy rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “FEMSA outperformed the broader industry in the last three months. The company is on track to drive growth through strategic measures, including increasing store count, diversifying business portfolio and focusing on core business activities. Further, its exposure in various industries including beverage, beer and retail, gives it an edge over competitors. Also, FEMSA's strong cash flow generation capacity enables it to make incremental investments in business expansion. However, second-quarter 2017 results marked its fourth consecutive earnings miss, while sales lagged estimates for the second straight time. Moreover, the company continued to witness margin pressures due to decline in margins at Coca-Cola FEMSA and lower-margin businesses growth at FEMSA Comercio, as well as higher operating expenses at Coca-Cola FEMSA and FEMSA Comercio’s Health division. Nevertheless, FEMSA's focus on achieving growth via acquisitions bode well.”

Gerdau (NYSE:GGB) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a buy rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “Year to date, Gerdau's American Depository Receipts (ADR) have outperformed the industry. We believe that the company's product portfolio, manufacturing techniques and international diversity will help it grow over the long term. Also, its strategy of disposing loss-making assets/businesses will enable it to focus on the profitable ones. Going forward, any investment by the government in infrastructure improvements will boost steel demand in Brazil, thereby creating favorable conditions for the company. However, it is exposed to risks arising from higher raw material costs, foreign currency fluctuations, huge debt levels and cyclical nature of the industry. In second-quarter 2017, the company's adjusted net income declined 19.1% year over year due to 10.6% fall in revenues, forex woes and higher income tax expenses. Also, the stock is currently overvalued compared with the industry.”

Gol Linhas Aereas Inteligentes (NYSE:GOL) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a buy rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “Shares of GOL Linhas have outperformed its industry in the last six months . Ushering in further good news, the company reported better-than-expected results in the second quarter of 2017. Moreover, the top line improved significantly year over year. The carrier's view for full-year 2017 is also encouraging. An improving Latin American economy is also aiding GOL Linhas. We expect the company’s focus on capacity discipline to result in increasing yields, going forward. Moreover, we are positive on the steps taken by the carrier to overcome its struggles. In fact, the company's efforts to modernize its fleet are also impressive. However, GOL is highly dependent on the products of certain big suppliers and operates in a competitive Latin American airline space.”

Gap, Inc. (The) (NYSE:GPS) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a buy rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “Gap has outperformed the industry in the past six months as its turnaround efforts are well on track. The company is focused on its transformation plan, and is bringing meaningful changes to its product portfolio and operating capabilities worldwide. Further, the company remains keen on streamlining its operating model by creating a more proficient global brand structure and cutting costs. These growth drivers , along with strength at its Old Navy brand helped the company to deliver a decent first-quarter that marked Gap’s fourth sales beat. However, results continued to be hurt by currency woes, a tough retail scenario and persistent weakness across Banana Republic. Currency is also expected to linger and hurt fiscal 2017 results, as is evident from Gap’s soft view. Additionally, stiff competition remains a threat. Nonetheless, Gap’s shareholder-friendly moves and focus on omnichannel development, remain noteworthy.”

Haemonetics Corporation (NYSE:HAE) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a buy rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “Haemonetics exited first-quarter fiscal 2018 on a mixed note, with earnings beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate and revenues missing the same. Despite the encouraging growth in the Plasma and Haemonetics Management franchises, the underperformance at BloodCenter was quite a dampener. Meanwhile, the company’s strong cash position boosts investors’ confidence.Also the year-over-year increase in reported sales and gross margin buoys optimism. The company swung to operating income in the first quarter of fiscal 2018 from losses in the year-ago quarter. The company is also optimistic about strong market adoption of its NexSys PCS plasmapheresis system which recently received FDA approval. For the past six months, Haemonetics has been trading above the broader industry.”

Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a buy rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “Intel’s second-quarter 2017 results demonstrated the company’s growing focus on the data-centric part of the business. The recent launch of Xeon Scalable is anticipated to benefit its footprint in the data center as well as AI and IoT space, going forward. Further, anticipated improvement in cost structure and lower spending, primarily due to improving operational efficiency will aid in expansion of margins going forward. Additionally, aggressive share buyback will boost the bottom line in 2017. However, we note that Intel has underperformed the industry on a year-to-date basis, which can be attributed to growing competition from AMD in the data center space. We also note that the top-PC makers like HP, Lenovo, and Asus are set to launch PCs based on Qualcomm’s ARM-based Snapdragon processor, which intensifies competition for Intel. We believe that this is a significant headwind amid declining PC shipments.”

lululemon athletica inc. (NASDAQ:LULU) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a buy rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “Lululemon stock has made notable recovery, outperforming the industry in the last three months. The company delivered top and bottom line beat in first-quarter fiscal 2017, which has considerably boosted stock price. Further, the company is all set to utilize its capabilities built in fiscal 2015 over the next five years. In fact, by 2020, the company aims to double its revenues to about $4 billion and more than double its earnings. Moreover, the company’s eCommerce growth initiatives and ivivva remodeling bode well. We note that the company’s eCommerce comps improved in the low-double digits range so far in the fiscal second-quarter. This led the company to provide solid comps guidance for the second quarter and fiscal 2017, reflecting further strengthening of eCommerce business. However, in-store comps continue to suffer. The company also tweaked revenue forecast for fiscal 2017, which indicates further weakness.”

Moody’s Corporation (NYSE:MCO) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a buy rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “Shares of Moody’s have significantly outperformed the industry year to date. The company’s second-quarter 2017 earnings easily surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Results reflected strong revenue growth, partially offset by a rise in expenses. The company remains well positioned to improve profitability on the back of its dominant position in the credit rating industry, diverse revenue base and disintermediation of credit markets. Also, the company's inorganic growth strategy and resultant synergies should further support top-line growth going forward. However, stricter regulatory landscapes and stiff competition across the credit rating industry continue to be major near term concerns. Further, mounting expenses are expected to hurt the company’s bottom-line growth.”

Regency Centers Corporation (NYSE:REG) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a buy rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “Shares of Regency have underperformed its industry year to date. While the company’s second-quarter results improved year over year, the funds from operations (FFO) per share estimate for the third quarter moved south over the past seven days. However, Regency’s merger with Equity One elevated the company’s position in the retail real estate market and offered it a host of opportunities to drive growth. It created a high quality portfolio of 429 properties, mainly grocery anchored, situated in several top markets. The company also made solid progress in the merger integration that helped it realize the anticipated $27 million of G&A synergies. The market has been witnessing a shift in retail shopping from brick and mortar stores to internet sales. Particularly, the recent efforts of online retailers to go deeper into the grocery business have emerged as a pressing concern for this REIT.”

Restoration Hardware Holdings (NYSE:RH) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a strong-buy rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “RH’s shares widely outperformed the industry to which it belongs, year to date. The company’s efforts to redesign its supply chain network, rationalize product offerings and the Waterworks acquisition are expected to boost growth. Initiatives like RH Modern, RH Teen, RH Hospitality, the redesign of RH Interiors Source Book, the rollout of Design Ateliers across the company’s retail Galleries are expected to contribute to growth in 2017 and beyond. Though RH’s plans to rationalize product offering, reduce inventories and boost free cash flow will drive revenues and cash flow, it is expected to dent earnings in 2017. Also, higher dependence on imports makes it vulnerable to uncertain macro conditions.”

RMP Energy (TSE:RMP) was downgraded by analysts at Raymond James Financial, Inc. from a market perform rating to an underperform rating. Raymond James Financial, Inc. currently has C$0.40 target price on the stock, down from their previous target price of C$0.60.

Staples (NASDAQ:SPLS) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a sell rating. According to Zacks, “Staples has made an official announcement that Sycamore Partners will acquire its business in a deal likely to be concluded by December. We note that shares of Staples have outpaced the industry in the past three months, stock is unlikely to gain in the near future as persistent weakness in the office products sector, technological advancements and stiff competition continue to hurt its performance. As a result, both the top and bottom lines continue to decline year over year. Although Staples posted in-line earnings for the fourth quarter in row, when it reported first-quarter fiscal 2017 results, sales missed our estimate for the third time. However, we can’t ignore the initiatives management has undertaken to bring itself back on the track. The company’s actions to streamline operations aimed at enhancing productivity and performance of North American business bode well.”

Sysco Corporation (NYSE:SYY) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a buy rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “Sysco reported fourth-quarter fiscal 2017 results, wherein both earnings and revenues exceeded expectations. Moreover, Sysco’s shares have been outperforming the industry over the last one year. Earnings rose 12.5% in the quarter. Growth in sales, expense management, and improved gross and operating margin led to the upside. The acquisition of London-based Brakes Group led to an increase of 5.7% of sales on a year-over-year basis. We note that the company’s sales have improved consistently driven by acquisitions and volume growth. Sysco’s efforts to boost sales and margins are paying up, as the company has delivered positive gross margins in the last nine quarters, after declining consistently since past several quarters. However, stiff competition remains a concern.”

Unum Group (NYSE:UNM) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a buy rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “Unum Group’s premiums continue to increase, fueled by solid persistency levels in core business lines and sturdy volume of sales, along with solid benefits experience. Acquisitions have provided an additional support. Starmount Life Insurance Company buyout gave access to growth opportunities in the dental market, which is in sync with its strategy to focus more on the employee benefits business. A sustained favorable performance drives solid capital generation and strong financial flexibility aiding active capital deployment. Unum expects 2017 operating earnings to grow 5–8% over the 2016 level. However, exposure to low interest rate environment remains the key headwind affecting the Unum U.K. results. Shares of Unum Group have the underperformed industry year to date. With respect to quarterly results, Unum Group’s second-quarter 2017 earnings outpaced our expectations and also improved year over year.”

Get Analysts' Upgrades and Downgrades Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of analysts' upgrades, downgrades and new coverage with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.