Investment Analysts’ upgrades for Tuesday, September 5th:

The AES Corporation (NYSE:AES) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a buy rating. Zacks Investment Research currently has $12.00 price target on the stock. According to Zacks, “.AES Corp continues to streamline its portfolio through asset divestments and by exiting markets and businesses where it does not have or cannot develop a competitive advantage. The company’s strategy of reducing complexity through withdrawal of operations in the risk markets is appreciable. Further, its efforts to expand the generation business and renewable assets could drive growth going forward. The company also holds a strong liquidity position, which allowed management to make a promise of 10% growth in dividend, every year. However, commodity price volatility, stringent environmental regulations and operational risks continue to pose challenges for the stock.”

Aflac (NYSE:AFL) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a buy rating. They currently have $93.00 target price on the stock. According to Zacks, “Aflac shares have outperformed its industry year to date. Efforts to increase agent productivity, emphasis on sale of third-sector products, pull back on sale of first-sector products, and the introduction of new products like cancer insurance are likely to drive long-term growth. Its strong capital position enables it to buy back shares and increase dividend payouts. However, the company remains exposed to a challenging operating environment, primarily in Japan. Charges related to Japan’s branch conversion and foreign exchange volatility are some headwinds faced by the company.”

Applied Industrial Technologies (NYSE:AIT) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a buy rating. The firm currently has $65.00 price target on the stock. According to Zacks, “Over the last year, Applied Industrial’s shares outperformed the sector. The company reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter fiscal 2017 results. Quarterly adjusted earnings of 78 cents per share surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by a penny. In addition, net sales in the reported quarter handily beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 3.4%. The company believes that robust upstream business, sturdy performance of the U.S. fluid power business, and superior customer servicing skills will likely bolster its top-line performance in the quarters ahead. Moreover, sound restructuring moves, greater productivity and increased cost discipline are projected to strengthen the company’s near-term bottom-line performances. Notably, the company remains committed towards its shareholders.”

AMTEK (NYSE:AME) 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, “AMETEK is a leading manufacturer of electronic appliances and electromechanical devices. The company posted better-than-expected second-quarter 2017 results surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate on earnings and revenues. AMETEK continues to reap the benefits from the execution of its four core growth strategies of operational excellence, global market expansion, investments in product development and strategic acquisitions. This, in combination with a strong portfolio of differentiated businesses, is expected to help the company post better results, going forward. However, weakness in its balance sheet and integration issues and an overly high goodwill associated with an aggressive acquisition strategy are concerns. Foreign exchange headwinds remain. Notably, year to date, the stock has underperformed the industry it belongs to.”

Bed Bath & Beyond (NASDAQ:BBBY) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a buy rating. The firm currently has $31.00 target price on the stock. According to Zacks, “Bed Bath & Beyond  is focused on strategic initiatives like e-Commerce enhancement and improvement of customer services, as also evident from its recent store realigment plan. Also, comps from customer-facing digital networks grew over 20% in the last reported quarter. Additionally, Bed Bath & Beyond’s capital initiatives and constant shareholder-friendly moves should draw investors’ attention. However, the company has lagged the broader industry in the past year owing to its unimpressive past performances. Well, Bed Bath & Beyond has been reeling under sluggish mall traffic that has been intensifying with increasing shift toward online shopping. Also, margins have been pressurized for four quarters now, owing to increased expenses. Additionally, the company's global presence keeps it exposed to currency woes. Unfortunately, management's dismal view for fiscal 2017 raises concerns about these obstacles to linger.”

BorgWarner (NYSE:BWA) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a buy rating. They currently have $52.00 price target on the stock. According to Zacks, “Zacks Consensus Estimate for BorgWarner’s annual earnings has been going up of late. High organic net sales growth expectations are likely to aid the company going forward. Huge business opportunities in Asia, the Americas and Europe in the next three years are anticipated to contribute to a major portion of its growth. Moreover, a healthy balance sheet and ample cash flow helps BorgWarner to return capital to its shareholders’ and undertake acquisitions.”

Commerce Bancshares (NASDAQ:CBSH) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a buy rating. The firm currently has $62.00 price target on the stock. According to Zacks, “Shares of Commerce Bancshares have outperformed the industry in the past three months. Also, the company has surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in three of the trailing four quarters. The bank's efforts to expand its footprint in newer markets, an improving rate scenario and expectation of lesser regulations are projected to boost revenues further. While rising expenses and significant exposure to real estate loans remain near-term concerns, strong loan and deposit balance should support its profitability. Further, the company's capital deployment activities are impressive, reflecting strong balance sheet position.”

Carnival Corporation (NYSE:CCL) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a buy rating. They currently have $77.00 target price on the stock. According to Zacks, “Carnival shares have outpaced the industry in the past year. Given burgeoning demand for cruise travel in 2017, the addition of new ships to its fleet bodes well. Carnival believes that it is well positioned for continued earnings growth, given the current strength in its bookings along with pricing trends for the year. Notably, its brand building efforts together with other marketing activities are driving bookings. Its strategy of growing beyond familiar itineraries and capitalizing on fast growing markets also bodes well. New onboard product offerings and strategic initiatives are expected to drive onboard yield gains. Cost containment efforts like lower fuel consumption could also aid profits. However, adverse forex translations, higher costs along with macroeconomic issues in key operating regions remain headwinds. A potential increase in fuel costs can also hamper its profitability.”

Genworth Financial (NYSE:GNW) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a buy rating. The firm currently has $4.00 price target on the stock. According to Zacks, “Genworth has agreed to be acquired by China Oceanwide. The merger will consolidate Genworth’s financial position in the mortgage insurance and long term care insurance markets. Also, Genworth will remain committed toward its key financial priorities of strengthening the balance sheet and stabilizing and improving ratings over time, particularly in its U.S. MI business. The company is intensifying focus on streamlining and rationalizing business to mainly improve performance, enhance financial and strategic flexibility. Moreover, the company saw its 2017 and 2018 estimates moving north over the last 60 days. However, new products and pricing changes in the U.S. Life Insurance Division implemented over the past couple of years, led to lower sales for Genworth. Also, shares of Genworth underperformed the industry year to date.”

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 the last month. The company’s premium quality industrial properties located in upscale locations will enable it to capitalize from the increasing demand amid an e-commerce boom. 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.”

Palo Alto Networks (NYSE:PANW) was upgraded by analysts at Imperial Capital from an in rating to a line rating. Imperial Capital currently has $165.00 price target on the stock, up from their previous price target of $137.00.

People’s United Financial (NASDAQ:PBCT) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a buy rating. Zacks Investment Research currently has $19.00 price target on the stock. According to Zacks, “Shares of People’s United have outperformed the industry in the last three months. The company has a decent earnings surprise history. It surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in two of the trailing four quarters. The company is steadily growing through acquisitions, which is likely to continue in the near future, given its strong balance sheet position. People’s United’s focus on improving credit quality is another positive factor. Though escalating expenses despite undertaking initiatives to curb costs remains a concern, the company’s steady capital deployment activities continue to enhance investors’ confidence in the stock.”

PACCAR (NASDAQ:PCAR) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a buy rating. The firm currently has $74.00 target price on the stock. 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. The company is expanding its global networkof strategically located parts distribution centers (“PDC") in South America and Russia, among others countries. Moreover, on the back of strategic investments, PACCAR is well-positioned in its key markets. Also, a strong balance sheet enables it to invest in the development of new technologies, enhanced manufacturing facilities and after-market support.”

Pepsico (NYSE:PEP) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a buy rating. The firm currently has $130.00 price target on the stock. According to Zacks, “PepsiCo’s shares outperformed the industry to which it belongs in the past year. The company has been doing well on the back of significant innovation, continued momentum in Frito-Lay business, revenue management strategies, improved productivity and cost-saving initiatives, along with better market execution. Moreover, it has been seeing higher volumes and profits in the North American segments due to an improving economy, better industry pricing dynamics and a consistency in positive innovation. It rolled out several products recently which management believes will drive sales and profits in 2017. That said, growing health awareness has been hurting the CSD category, resulting in a 3% volume decline in the first half of 2017 in North America.”

PPL Corporation (NYSE:PPL) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a buy rating. Zacks Investment Research currently has $44.00 price target on the stock. According to Zacks, “Shares of PPL Corp. have gained higher than the industry in the last 12 months. PPL Corp. is poised to gain from its capital investment plan, which primarily focuses on infrastructure construction projects for generation, transmission and distribution. It has reestablished its hedge levels to shield itself from any near-term decline in the GBP. PPL Corp’s earnings are expected to improve annually by 5-6% in 2017-2020 time period, thanks to the contribution from its domestic and U.K. operations. However, environmental regulatory risks pose challenges to PPL Corp.’s growth. The company’s operations are also subject to service disruptions in the form of breakdown of equipment. Unfavorable weather in Kentucky is also adversely impacting earnings.”

PS Business Parks (NYSE:PSB) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a buy rating. Zacks Investment Research currently has $152.00 price target on the stock. According to Zacks, “Shares of PS Business Parks have substantially outperformed the industry it belongs to, year to date. Moreover, the company’s second-quarter 2017 adjusted funds from operations (FFO) per share surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current-year FFO per share remained unchanged in a month’s time. The company’s diversified portfolio and ample liquidity augur well for long-term growth. While healthy fundamentals in the multi-tenant flex, office and industrial asset categories are anticipated to stoke growth, portfolio repositioning strategies will likely help the company emerge stronger. However, unfavorable leasing environment in certain markets and hike in interest rates remain key concerns.”

Snam Spa (OTC:SNMRY) was upgraded by analysts at Royal Bank Of Canada from a sector perform rating to an outperform rating.