Stock Analysts’ upgrades for Wednesday, August 16th:

CF Industries Holdings (NYSE:CF) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a sell rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “CF Industries saw lower profits in the second quarter of 2017. Adjusted earnings, however, beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Revenues fell modestly year over year, but beat expectations.  CF Industries is well placed to gain from its efforts to boost production capacity.  It should also benefit from higher nitrogen demand driven by healthy corn plantations. The company's nitrogen business is also enjoying the benefit of abundant natural gas supply. However, CF Industries has underperformed the industry it belongs to for the past six months. CF Industries anticipates the challenging nitrogen pricing environment to continue through 2017. High supply levels in the global nitrogen market due to capacity additions are hurting prices. The company is also exposed to challenging agriculture market fundamentals. Moreover, CF Industries has a debt-laden balance sheet.”

Cimpress N.V (NASDAQ:CMPR) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a strong-buy rating. They currently have $104.00 target price on the stock. According to Zacks, “Cimpress has outperformed the industry in the last three months. The company is currently shifting its value proposition away from deep discounts and free-offer direct marketing efforts to tap the large market opportunity beyond the traditional base of highly price-sensitive customers. It is making steady progress with investments in new markets and the business strategy is now focused on quality products and delivery, increased customer service and more transparent pricing. In addition, Cimpress has been acquiring firms with complementary product offerings and expects to ramp up its revenues with operating synergies through economies of scale and technological collaboration to serve a wide spectrum of customers across the globe. However, Cimpress reported dismal fiscal 2017 fourth-quarter results, with wider than expected loss. Foreign currency volatility and margin pressure remain headwinds for the company.”

CSRA (NYSE:CSRA) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a buy rating. The firm currently has $36.00 price target on the stock. According to Zacks, “CSRA is the largest pure play government IT service provider. The company’s deep domain knowledge and expertise in next-generation IT services is aiding it to win new contracts on a regular basis. This was evident from the recently announced first-quarter results. Additionally, partnerships with technology companies like Microsoft, Amazon and Oracle is a key growth driver. Moreover, anticipated improvement in federal spending is a positive for the company. However, near-term uncertainty over the renewal of Greenway contract and delay in TSA contract are headwinds. The lower recompete win rate is a concern in our view.  Notably, the company has underperformed the industry on a year-to-date basis.”

Connecticut Water Service (NASDAQ:CTWS) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a buy rating. They currently have $63.00 price target on the stock. According to Zacks, “Shares of Connecticut Water Services have gained more than the industry in the last 12 months. The company’s second-quarter earnings per share were higher than the Zacks Consensus Estimate. It continues to strengthen its existing infrastructure through regular capital investments, which is a must in the water utility space. In addition, customer expansion through systematic acquisition is expanding its service territories thereby boosting demand. However, Connecticut Water Services is subject to stringent environment regulations, demand variations with weather patterns, risk of water mains failure and contamination of water sources.”

Intesa Sanpaolo SpA (OTC:ISNPY) was upgraded by analysts at HSBC Holdings plc from a hold rating to a buy rating.

Juniper Networks (NYSE:JNPR) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a strong-buy rating. They currently have $32.00 target price on the stock. According to Zacks, “Juniper is gaining on strong adoption of its cloud products and robust performance from the QFX switch product line, which was evident from the second-quarter results. Both earnings and revenues increased on a year-over-year basis in the reported quarter. We note that the stock has outperformed the industry on a year-to-date basis. We believe that frequent product launches, cost reduction initiatives and improving execution are encouraging. However, management noted that pricing pressure, unfavorable product and customer mix along with higher DRAM memory prices will continue to hurt gross margin in the rest of 2017. Moreover lumpy router revenue growth is also a concern. Additionally, stiff competition and ongoing consolidation in the telecom market remain concerns.”

CarMax (NYSE:KMX) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a strong-buy rating. Zacks Investment Research currently has $74.00 target price on the stock. According to Zacks, “CarMax stock has outperformed the industry it belongs to in the last three months.  CarMax’s focus on the used-car market helps it to outperform the industry. The company is among the strongest operators in its peer group. Also, its aggressive store-expansion is expected to benefit the company. Moreover, share repurchases will boost shareholder returns. However, the average selling prices in used vehicle as well as wholesale vehicle segment has been declining. The increase in the supply of used vehicles is expected to further lower prices.”

Liberty Property Trust (NYSE:LPT) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a buy rating. They currently have $47.00 target price on the stock. According to Zacks, “Liberty Property delivered a better-than-expected performance with respect to funds from operations (FFO) per share and revenues. Also, industrial distribution rents escalated 11.9% on renewal and replacement leases signed during the quarter. Recently, the company announced that its newest industrial project in South Carolina, Caliber North is fully leased to Rudolph Logistics North America, Inc. The company is poised for growth as fundamentals of the industrial real estate market remain solid, backed by growing demand, resulting in solid rent increase, enhanced occupancy and development opportunities. Also, its shares outperformed the industry it belongs to, year to date. However, anticipated increase in supply of industrial real estates, adverse near-term impact on earnings from dispositions and rise in interest rates remain concerns.”

PDL BioPharma (NASDAQ:PDLI) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a buy rating. Zacks Investment Research currently has $3.00 target price on the stock. According to Zacks, “PDL BioPharma’s earnings in the second quarter of 2017 surpassed estimates. The company is focused on acquiring and managing income-generating assets. PDL BioPharma has royalty agreements with several companies, whereby it has royalty rights on product sales. We are positive on the company’s recent strategic shift, wherein, it is making equity investments in product-focused companies. The company’s royalty agreement with oncology-focused company, ARIAD, is also encouraging. PDL BioPharma’s shares have outperformed the industry in a year. However, the company is heavily dependent on its partners for royalty revenues, which is hardly a risk-free strategy. We are also concerned about PDL BioPharma’s revenue stream in the futureas its growth prospects rely on the timing and ability to acquire new income-generating assets in order to provide recurring revenues.”

Saipem SpA (BIT:SPM) was upgraded by analysts at Macquarie from an underperform rating to a neutral rating.

Williams-Sonoma (NYSE:WSM) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a buy rating. They currently have $50.00 target price on the stock. According to Zacks, “Williams-Sonoma enjoys a competitive advantage owing to its multi-brand/multi-channel business model. The company is focused on enhancing customer experience through improved and innovative marketing techniques. Though shares of Williams-Sonoma underperformed its industry so far this year, earnings estimates for the current year have moved north over the last 60 days. However, comparable brand revenues have been sluggish for several quarters owing to soft retail environment and cautious customers.”

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