Analysts’ updated eps estimates for Monday, September 4th:

Campbell Soup (NYSE:CPB) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a sell rating. According to Zacks, “Campbell Soup has lagged the industry year to date, largely due to its top line, which hasn’t witnessed year-over-year growth for quite some time now. Moreover, it has missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate for three straight quarters now. Much of this debacle could be attributed to a difficult packaged food industry landscape, where sales have been soft due to consumers changing food preferences, evolving shopping trends and a tough retail environment. These factors also hurt Campbell’s fourth-quarter fiscal 2017 results that fell short of estimates. Also, the company expects a tough operating scenario in fiscal 2018, which led to a cautious view. Nonetheless, Campbell’s solid cost savings helped it achieve EBIT and EPS growth in fiscal 2017. Also, the company is on track with its four key strategies. This is partly clear from its deal with Pacific Foods, which reflects Campbell’s focus on expanding in the organic food space.”

Dun & Bradstreet Corporation (The) (NYSE:DNB) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a buy rating. They currently have $125.00 target price on the stock. According to Zacks, “We continue to expect that Dun & Bradstreet will benefit from its high-margin business model and strong product portfolio. Its partnerships with big players have also helped it bring many more customers into the fold. Plus, the company is also well-positioned to gain from its strategic acquisitions and alliances. The company’s focus on expanding analytics capabilities is also a positive. Plus, cost savings resulted in a strong operating margin performance in the last reported quarter. Management has now raised the lower end of its operating margin growth for the year. However, stiff competition, weak DNBi business and high debt continue to remain areas of concerns. Shares have underperformed the broader market in the past one year.”

Gerdau (NYSE:GGB) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a buy rating. The firm currently has $4.25 target price on the stock. According to Zacks, “Year to date, Gerdau's American Depository Receipts (ADR) have outperformed the industry. We believe that the company's product portfolio and manufacturing techniques will help it grow over the long term. Its international diversity provides support to the top line. 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 these regions, thereby creating lucrative market conditions for steel producers like Gerdau. For 2017, Gerdau expects capital expenditure to be R$1.3 billion. Over the last 60 days, earnings estimates on the stock improved for both 2017 and 2018.”

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 growing focus on the data-centric part of the business is positive. The launch of Xeon Scalable is anticipated to improve its footprint in the data center as well as AI space, going forward. The company unveiled Myriad X, which will boost footprint in the IoT space. Moreover, the recent Core 8 launch will boost PC market share amid intensifying competition from AMD. We 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 is a headwind for the company. 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. Moreover, declining PC-shipments is a concern.”

Itron (NASDAQ:ITRI) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a buy rating. Zacks Investment Research currently has $81.00 target price on the stock. According to Zacks, “Itron expects revenues to be between $2.03 billion and $2.06 billion, and adjusted earnings per share between $2.95 and $3.15 for 2017. Its favorable mix of business, in addition to operational efficiencies and greater day-to-day business discipline, will drive earnings growth. Itron continues to focus on expanding its portfolio of outcome-based solutions, aimed at higher growth opportunities utilizing the power of the OpenWay Riva platform. The company’s restructuring projects will help in reducing costs and increase manufacturing flexibility. Moreover, the Comverge acquisition, strong bookings and backlog, and new projects are anticipated to fuel growth. The company outperformed the industry over the past six months. The company has a positive record of earnings surprises in the last few quarters. Its estimates have also gone up lately. “

Magna International (NYSE:MGA) (TSE:MG) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a buy rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “Magna International is well positioned to benefit from its leading position in the industry as well as its operational efficiency and diverse product portfolio. The company regularly undertakes capital deployment in order to enhance shareholder value. Also, its expansion strategy in emerging markets is expected to support results. However, in the current fiscal, Magna International’s light vehicle production is expected to decline in North America which is presumed to have a negative impact in the sales figure. Also, fluctuating foreign currencies against the U.S. dollar will adversely affect the company’s sales and earnings.”

Monsanto (NYSE:MON) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a buy rating. Zacks Investment Research currently has $131.00 target price on the stock. According to Zacks, “Monsanto’s shares have outperformed the industry in a year’s time. The company reported better-than-expected results for third-quarter fiscal 2017. Increasing demand for crop-yield enhancing products, such as Roundup Ready 2 Xtend Soybeans, and launch of non-imitable technological solutions are likely to boost the company’s top-line performance, moving ahead.  Further, robust top-line performance, higher planted acreage, as well as lower U.S. corn and soybean costs are expected to bolster bottom-line results in near term. Also, the successful accomplishment of Bayer’s buyout deal is anticipated to open up a number of opportunities for Monsanto. Over the last 60 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the stock moved north for fiscal 2018.”

Pitney Bowes (NYSE:PBI) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a sell rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “Pitney Bowes’ concerted efforts to transform its business over the past three years have started to show results, as is evident from growth across most business lines in recent quarters. Particularly, the company’s Software business has witnessed a strong rebound on the back of these concerted transformation initiatives, after years of dismal performance. Also, the company’s efforts to optimize its new enterprise business platform to boost profitability are showing impressive results. However on the flip side, over the past six months, Pitney Bowes’ shares witnessed a steep decline, comparing unfavorably with the industry’s average positive return. High incremental marketing expense and prolonged weakness in mailing business are thwarting growth. Also, fluctuations in license revenues, currency fluctuations and softness in equipment sales pose as major threats, going forward.”

PACCAR (NASDAQ:PCAR) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a buy rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “PACCAR expects to achieve total sales of 200,000-220,000 units in Class 8 retail in the United States and Canada and 290,000-310,000 unit sales in Europe for fiscal 2017. Moreover, it is expanding its presence in South America and Russia, among others countries. A strong balance sheet enables it to invest in the development of new technologies, enhanced manufacturing facilities and after-market support. However, declining used truck prices and tough competition in the commercial truck market are few concerns the company has been facing. In the last six months, PACCAR’s shares have also underperformed against the industry it belongs to.”

PVH Corp. (NYSE:PVH) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a buy rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “PVH Corp. has outperformed the industry year to date driven by its superb earnings history and brand strength. The company posted better-than-expected earnings and sales results for second-quarter fiscal 2017. While sales marked its fourth consecutive beat, earnings retained its positive surprise trend for the 13th straight time. Results continued to gain from solid momentum at its Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger brands, particularly in the international regions. Further, the company raised earnings outlook for fiscal 2017. However, concerns regarding the volatile macroeconomic and geopolitical environment remain. While currency rates improved in second quarter, currency headwinds are expected to hurt fiscal 2017 earnings by 20 cents per share. Apart from this, a volatile retail scenario and greater marketing costs may hurt performance. Nonetheless, the company’s efforts to keep pace with the evolving consumer trends bode well.”

Signet Jewelers (NYSE:SIG) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a buy rating. The firm currently has $71.00 target price on the stock. According to Zacks, “Shares of Signet Jewelers, which have underperformed the industry significantly in a year, took a sharp U turn following robust second-quarter fiscal 2018 results. The bullish run helped it to outpace the industry in a month. Notably, this marked the second time in the past eleven quarters, wherein sales surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Following, earnings estimates for fiscal 2018 and 2019 have been rising. Further, Signet announced an agreement to acquire R2Net which will enhance digital shopping experience. Moreover, the company is striving hard to place itself on the growth trajectory, as evident from planned capital investments. However, margins which have been declining since the past few quarters will remain under pressure in the second half of the year. On the other hand, despite reporting higher comps in the reported quarter, the company maintained tepid comps guidance which remains a major concern for investors.”

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