Research Analysts’ downgrades for Friday, January 12th:

Abcam (OTCMKTS:ABCZY) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a buy rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “Abcam PLC distributes antibodies and associated protein research tools. Its product includes primary and secondary antibodies, proteins, peptides, lysates, biochemicals, immunoassays and other kits. Abcam PLC is headquartered in Cambridge, the United Kingdom. “

ABLYNX (OTCMKTS:ABLYF) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a buy rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “Ablynx NV is a biopharmaceutical company which engaged in the development of Nanobodies (R) proprietary therapeutic proteins based on single-domain antibody fragments. The company also discovers and develops therapeutic for inflammation, haematology, immuno-oncology, oncology and respiratory disease. Ablynx NV is headquartered in Ghent, Belgium. “

Akzo Nobel (OTCMKTS:AKZOY) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a buy rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “AkzoNobel is a leading global paints and coatings company and a major producer of specialty chemicals. Their portfolio includes brands such as Dulux, Sikkens, International, Interpon and Eka. “

Aquinox Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:AQXP) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a buy rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “Aquinox Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company. The Company discovers and develops oral drug candidates to treat inflammation and cancer. Aquinox Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is headquartered in Vancouver, Canada. “

Alexandria Real Estate Equities (NYSE:ARE) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a buy rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “Shares of Alexandria have outperformed the industry, in the past year. Further, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for fourth-quarter 2017 funds from operations (FFO) per share remained unchanged in a month’s time. The fundamentals of the life science industry remain strong and the company’s solid portfolio, consisting of Class A properties in upscale locations, enjoys high demand. This enables the company to enjoy high occupancy and generate steady rental revenues from its properties. Moreover, ushering in good news for shareholders, on Dec 4, 2017, the company announced a 5% sequential hike in quarterly cash dividend, reflecting robust cash flow and solid balance sheet. However, sale of non-core assets is anticipated to have a dilutive impact on earnings. Further rate hike add to its woes.”

Atlantic Power (NYSE:AT) (TSE:ATP) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a buy rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “Atlantic Power Corporation is an independent electric power producer that owns interests in a diversified portfolio of independent, non-utility power generation projects and one transmission line situated in major U.S. markets. “

AngloGold Ashanti (NYSE:AU) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a buy rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “AngloGold Limited is the largest gold producer at 7 million ounces a year, with reserves of 126 m oz. The company has operations in six countries on three continents, some of which are joint ventures, as well as exploration activities in ten countries. AngloGold can be financially characterized by high cash generation, substantial reinvestment in long-term growth and the payment of significant dividends. The company distinguishes itself from its producer peer group through its active involvement in the development of the gold market, particularly in Asia. “

Avid Technology (NASDAQ:AVID) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a buy rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “Avid Technology, Inc. develops, markets, sells and supports a wide range of software and systems for creating and manipulating digital media content. Digital media are media elements, whether video or audio or graphics, in which the image, sound or picture is recorded and stored as digital values, as opposed to analog signals. The company’s systems are designed to improve the productivity of video and film editors by enabling them to edit moving pictures and sound in a faster, easier, and more cost-effective manner than traditional analog tape-based systems. “

Becton Dickinson and (NYSE:BDX) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a buy rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “In the last year, Becton, Dickinson and Company, popularly known as BD, has outperformed the broader industry. BD recently completed the acquisition of C. R. Bard. The company will establish a new segment — BD Interventional in which Bard will be integrated. The acquisition is viewed as a strategic one which will generate benefits from complementary businesses and geographical expansion. In recent past, BD announced that it will divest its soft tissue core needle biopsy products for $100 million to Merit Medical. On the flip side, lackluster performance by the Medical segment, from the prior year period is a concern. Performance in the segment was affected by sluggishness in the Medication Management Solutions and Pharmaceutical Systems units in the United States. BD temporarily paused shipments of its insulin infusion sets. The voluntary recall of Barricor blood collection tubes in the recent past also adds to our woes.”

Birchcliff Energy (OTCMKTS:BIREF) was downgraded by analysts at BMO Capital Markets from an outperform rating to a market perform rating.

Cirrus Logic (NASDAQ:CRUS) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a sell rating. According to Zacks, “Cirrus Logic is a premier supplier of high-performance analog circuits and advanced mixed-signal chip solutions. Estimates have remained stable ahead of the company's third-quarter fiscal 2018 results. Continued investments in the audio segment have helped the company to come up with innovative products from time to time. This aids in attracting new customers and brings in additional revenues. Additionally, expansion in the LED market continues to drive growth. However, it should be noted that Cirrus Logic generates a significant portion of revenues from Apple. This means that there is always an inherent risk of losing an Apple design contract, which will significantly hurt the company’s financials. Moreover, the company faces competition from peers, which also remains a concern. Notably, shares of the company have underperformed the industry over the past one year.”

Cognizant Technology Solutions (NASDAQ:CTSH) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a buy rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “Cognizant’s growth can be attributed to its significant exposure to the fast-growing verticals like Financial Services and Healthcare. Higher demand from payer and top-tier consulting clients in the healthcare segment will help to sustain the growth momentum. The company’s ability to harness the ongoing digital transition is a tailwind. The company is also benefiting from accretive acquisitions and share repurchase program. Cognizant has also gained deep industry expertise and knowledge of the domains through partnerships with top firms like Microsoft and SAP. Estimates have been stable lately ahead of the company’s Q4 earnings release. The company has mixed record of earnings surprises in recent quarters. However, the company faces significant geographic, domain and customer concentration risks which can negatively impact its business. Besides, stiff competition in the IT services market remains a concern.”

Diageo (NYSE:DEO) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a buy rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “Shares of Diageo have outperformed the industry in the past one year, driven by its strong fundamentals, continuous innovation and focus on expansion. Also, the company’s strategic endeavors including growth via acquisitions remain noteworthy. In fact, the buyout of the U.S. fastest-growing premium tequila brand, Casamigos, is expected to boost its market share and is likely to capitalize on the company’s presence in the high-growth international markets. Notably, alcohol stocks are doing well backed by the rising demand for flavored whisky, premium tequilas and spirits. However, currency fluctuations pose a serious concern for the company. Macroeconomic factors such as interest rate hikes and increase in energy costs may also impact the company’s profitability. Further government restrictions on alcohol consumption also act as a formidable threat to the company’s performance.”

Fifth Third Bancorp (NASDAQ:FITB) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a strong-buy rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “Shares of Fifth Third have outperformed the industry over the past six months. The performance was supported by the company’s decent earnings surprise history. It surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in two of the trailing four quarters. The company’s ongoing strategic efforts, such as Project North Star, will likely boost its efficiency and revenue over the long run. Also, margin pressure seems to be easing gradually, given the Fed interest rate hikes and improving economic backdrop. However, elevated expenses on the company’s branch digitization initiative and legal issues remain a concern.”

Guess? (NYSE:GES) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a buy rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “Shares of Guess? have outperformed the industry over the past six months, courtesy of a solid surprise history. The third quarter of fiscal 2018 marked the company’s third-consecutive earnings beat. During the quarter the company’s performance mainly gained from continued strength in European and Asia business segments. The regions have been depicting robust growth backed by store openings, positive comps and wholesale growth. Driven by such upsides, management raised fiscal 2018 earnings view. Further, management is optimistic about e-commerce business that has been improving steadily. However, Guess? has been facing a tough retail environment in the Americas, due to lower consumer spending. As a result, the company has resorted to store closures in these regions to focus on other prospective areas. Also, the company remains exposed to the unfavorable currency fluctuations.”

Allscripts Healthcare Solutions (NASDAQ:MDRX) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a sell rating. According to Zacks, “Allscripts has had a favorable run on the bourses over the last year, trading above the broader industry. However, the company’s continued reliance on mergers and acquisition activities poses substantial integration risks. Further, intensifying competition is a major dampener. The company’s products have a long sales cycle which involves intensive decision-making at different managerial levels. The company also expects a modest increase in operating expenses to support business growth. On a positive note, a solid guidance for 2017 and an encouraging long-term outlook are the key highlights of the quarter. Also, the expansion in margin is encouraging. The company’s solid growth in U.S. Core Solutions and Services, fueled by Sunrise electronic health record (EHR) platform and Allscripts Revenue Cycle Management Services, buoys optimism.”

State Street (NYSE:STT) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a buy rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “Shares of State Street have marginally outperformed the industry in the past six months. The company has an impressive earnings surprise history, having surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in all the trailing four quarters. New business wins, efforts to improve efficiency through its multi-year restructuring plan, synergies from GE Asset Management deal, easing margin pressure and the benefits from the new tax act are likely to aid profitability. Also, its enhanced capital deployment activities and exposure in international markets keeps us encouraged. However, declining total brokerage and other trading services revenues remains a concern. Further, mounting expenses will likely continue to hamper profitability to some extent.”

UBS Group (NYSE:UBS) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a buy rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “Shares of UBS Group AG have underperformed the industry on the NYSE over the past six months. The company remains focused on building capital levels, global expansion and executing restructuring initiatives. Moreover, it remains focused on achieving its performance targets. Also, cost reduction efforts will likely support the bank's bottom line growth. However, the company's profitability continues to be challenged by negative interest rates in the domestic economy and strict regulatory framework.”

Ultra Clean (NASDAQ:UCTT) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a buy rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “ULTRA CLEAN HOLDINGS, INC. is a developer and supplier of critical subsystems for the semiconductor capital equipment, flat panel, solar and medical device industries. Ultra Clean offers its customers an integrated outsourced solution for gas delivery systems and other subassemblies, improved design-to-delivery cycle times, component neutral design and manufacturing and component testing capabilities. Ultra Clean’s customers are primarily original equipment manufacturers for the semiconductor capital equipment, flat panel, solar and medical device industries. Ultra Clean is headquartered in Menlo Park, California. “

UGI (NYSE:UGI) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a buy rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “UGI Corporation is a holding company that, through subsidiaries, distributes, stores, transports and markets energy products and related services. They are a domestic and international retail distributor of propane and butane (which are liquefied petroleum gases (LPG)); a provider of natural gas and electric service through regulated local distribution utilities; a generator of electricity; a regional marketer of energy commodities; an owner and manager of midstream assets; and a regional provider of heating, ventilation, air conditioning, refrigeration and electrical contracting services. “

Ultrapar Participacoes (NYSE:UGP) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a buy rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “Ultrapar Participacoes S.A., a major Brazilian industrial group, is one of the largest distributors of liquefied petroleum gas in Brazil and a leading producer of petrochemicals and chemical. Ultrapar is also engaged in the storage and transportation of liquefied petroleum gas and petrochemical and chemical products. (PRESS RELEASE) “

Unilever (NYSE:UN) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a sell rating. According to Zacks, “Unilever is one of the world’s largest consumer products companies. They produce and market a wide range of foods, home and personal care products. Their leading brands include Dove, Lipton, Magnum, Omo and Rama. They are the number one producer of frozen foods in Europe, They are also a leader in the branded olive oil category the most important brand being Bertolli. They are the largest seller of packet tea in the world through our Lipton and Brooke Bond brands. “

UPM-Kymmene (OTCMKTS:UPMKY) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a buy rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “UPM-Kymmene Corporation is a global paper and forest products company. The Company is engaged in the production of paper, with an emphasis on the manufacture and sale of printing and writing papers. UPM is known as a modern and focused forest industry company. It consists of three Business Groups: Energy and Pulp, Paper, and Engineered Materials. The company’s main market areas are Europe and North America. UPM’s activities are centered in the European Union countries and North America, and Asia. The Company’s activities are based on close integration of raw materials, energy and production. Its vision is to be the front-runner in the new forest industry and to create value by offering competitive products and services to customers worldwide. “

Ur-Energy (NYSEAMERICAN:URG) (TSE:URE) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a sell rating. According to Zacks, “Ur-Energy is a uranium mining company operating the Lost Creek in-situ recovery uranium facility in south-central Wyoming. They have produced, packaged and shipped more than two million pounds from Lost Creek since the commencement of operations. Applications are under review by various agencies to incorporate their LC East project area into the Lost Creek permits, and they have begun to submit applications for permits and licenses to construct and operate at their Shirley Basin Project. Ur-Energy is engaged in uranium mining, recovery and processing activities, including the acquisition, exploration, development and operation of uranium mineral properties in the United States. “

Universal Stainless & Alloy Products (NASDAQ:USAP) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a sell rating. According to Zacks, “UNIVERSAL STAINLESS & ALLOY is a mini-mill that manufactures and markets semi-finished specialty steels, including stainless steel, tool steels and other alloy steels. It also provides conversion services on materials supplied by customers that lack certain of the Company’s production facilities or that are subject to their own capacity constraints. “

USD Partners (NYSE:USDP) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a buy rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “USD Partners LP acquires, develops and operates energy-related rail terminals and other and complementary midstream infrastructure assets and businesses. Its assets consist primarily of an origination crude-by-rail terminal in Hardisty, Alberta, Canada and two destination unit train-capable ethanol rail terminals in San Antonio, Texas, and West Colton, California. The Company also provides railcar services. USD Partners LP is headquartered in Houston, Texas. “

US Foods (NYSE:USFD) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a buy rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “US Foods Holding Corp. is a foodservice distributor. The company serves independent and multi-unit restaurants, healthcare and hospitality entities, government and educational institutions. US Foods Holding Corp. is headquartered in Rosemont, Ill. “

Vedanta Resources (OTCMKTS:VDNRF) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a strong sell rating. According to Zacks, “Vedanta Resources plc is engaged in exploring, extracting and processing minerals, and oil and gas. It produces zinc, lead, silver, copper, aluminum, iron ore, oil and gas and commercial power. The company operates primarily in India, Zambia, Namibia, South Africa, Liberia, Ireland, Australia and the United Arab Emirates. Vedanta Resources plc is headquartered in London, the United Kingdom. “

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