Analysts’ updated eps estimates for Tuesday, December 19th:

AllianceBernstein (NYSE:AB) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a buy rating. Zacks Investment Research currently has $29.00 price target on the stock. According to Zacks, “ALLIANCE CAP MANAGEMENT L.P. provides diversified investment management services, primarily to pension funds, endowments, foreign financial institutions, and to individual investors. “

Adverum Biotechnologies (NASDAQ:ADVM) had its hold rating reissued by analysts at Chardan Capital. The analysts wrote, “We note PRVs have in 2017 sold for: 1) $130 mm to Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical (unrated), announced 18 December 2017; 2) $125 mm to BioMarin Pharmaceutical (unrated), announced 27 November 2017, and 3) $125 mm to Sarepta Therapeutics (unrated), announced 21 February 2017. We understand Spark will announce the pricing of Luxturna in January, and that the drug will be available in late 1Q18. The Midwest CEPAC will convene to discuss the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) document on Luxturna, on 25 January 2018. Luxturna’s approval is an important (+) for GT, particularly for AAV-based ophthalmology companies. We understand Luxturna is the first gene therapy approved in the US for a genetic disease, the first in vivo and AAV-based gene therapy approved in the US, and the first pharmacologic treatment approved for an inherited retinal disease (IRD).””

Akamai Technologies (NASDAQ:AKAM) was upgraded by analysts at Craig Hallum from a hold rating to a buy rating.

Alio Gold (NYSEAMERICAN:ALO) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a buy rating. Zacks Investment Research currently has $3.50 target price on the stock. According to Zacks, “Alio Gold Inc. is a gold mining company. It engaged in exploration, development and production primarily in Mexico. The company’s principal assets include the producing San Francisco mine in Sonora, Mexico and the development stage Ana Paula project in Guerrero, Mexico. Alio Gold Inc, formerly known as Timmins Gold Corp, is headquartered in Vancouver, Canada. “

Ardagh Group (NYSE:ARD) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a sell rating. According to Zacks, “Ardagh Group S.A. provides metal and glass packaging solutions, producing packaging for food, beverage and consumer brands. Ardagh Group S.A. is based in Luxembourg. “

Asos Pls (OTCMKTS:ASOMY) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a buy rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “ASOS Plc is an online fashion destination. It offers branded and own-branded product lines, including womenswear and menswear, footwear, accessories, jewelry and beauty and grooming products primarily through its Website, asos.com. The company operates primarily in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Australia, the United States, Russia and China. ASOS Plc is based in London, United Kingdom. “

BHP Billiton (NYSE:BBL) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a buy rating. They currently have $43.00 target price on the stock. According to Zacks, “BHP Billiton Plc is engaged in production of minerals which includes iron ore, metallurgical coal, copper and uranium as well as oil, gas and energy coal. BHP Billiton Plc is based in Collins Street, Melbourne Victoria. “

Blue Capital Reinsurance (NYSE:BCRH) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a strong sell rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “Blue Capital Holdings Ltd. is a reinsurance holding company. It offers collateralized reinsurance in the property catastrophe market. Blue Capital Holdings Ltd. is based in Bermuda. “

Biohaven Pharmaceutical (NYSE:BHVN) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a buy rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “Biohaven Pharmaceutical Holding Company Ltd. is a biopharmaceutical company. It focuses on the identification and development of orphan neurologic indications and other neurological pathways. The company’s pipeline includes BHV-0223, which is a formulation of a glutamate-modulating agent; BHV-4157, which is a new chemical entity that modulates glutamate and BHV-5000, which is an in-licensed investigational agent of the Company targeting N-Methyl-D-Aspartate receptor antagonism which are in clinical trial stage. Biohaven Pharmaceutical Holding Company Ltd. is based in NEW HAVEN, United States. “

BTG (OTCMKTS:BTGGF) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a sell rating. According to Zacks, “BTG plc is a healthcare company. Its operating segment consists of Interventional Medicine and Specialty Pharmaceuticals. Interventional Medicine offers treatment of cancer, severe emphysema, severe blood clots and varicoseveins. Specialty Pharmaceuticals helps patients overexposed to certain medications or toxins. BTG plc is headquartered in London, the United Kingdom. “

Catasys (NASDAQ:CATS) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a sell rating. According to Zacks, “Catasys, Inc., formerly known as Hythiam, Inc., provides specialized behavioral health management services to health plans, employers and unions through a network of licensed and company managed health care providers. The Company’s program seeks to improve member health by delivering medical and psychosocial interventions in combination with long term care coaching, including their proprietary treatment program for alcoholism and stimulant dependence. Catasys, Inc. is based in Los Angeles. “

Carnival (NYSE:CCL) had its buy rating reaffirmed by analysts at SunTrust Banks, Inc.. The firm currently has a $84.00 target price on the stock, up from their previous target price of $72.00.

Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ:COST) had its buy rating reiterated by analysts at Barclays PLC. Barclays PLC currently has a $208.00 price target on the stock.

Ebix (NASDAQ:EBIX) had its target price raised by Sidoti from $88.00 to $90.00. The firm currently has a buy rating on the stock.

Hain Celestial Group (NASDAQ:HAIN) had its sell rating reaffirmed by analysts at Maxim Group.

MSCI (NYSE:MSCI) had its hold rating reissued by analysts at Barclays PLC. The firm currently has a $135.00 target price on the stock.

Methanex (TSE:MX) (NASDAQ:MEOH) had its target price boosted by TD Securities to C$85.00. TD Securities currently has a buy rating on the stock.

New Gold (TSE:NGD) (ARCA:NGD) had its buy rating reiterated by analysts at Laurentian Bank of Canada. The firm currently has a C$4.75 target price on the stock.

National Bank of Canada (OTCMKTS:NTIOF) was downgraded by analysts at Barclays PLC from an overweight rating to an equal weight rating.

Varonis Systems (NASDAQ:VRNS) had its neutral rating reaffirmed by analysts at Barclays PLC.

Zimmer Biomet (NYSE:ZBH) had its hold rating reiterated by analysts at Canaccord Genuity. The firm currently has a $125.00 price target on the stock. The analysts wrote, “We maintain our HOLD rating following the announcement that Zimmer has named Bryan Hanson, former EVP and President of Medtronic’s Minimally Invasive Therapies Group, as CEO effective immediately. The announcement ends the five-month search for a new leader after former CEO David Dvorak resigned early in the Q3/17. Additionally, interim CEO Dan Florin will remain with the company as CFO. We view the hire positively as it removes the near-term overhang of management uncertainty and adds a seasoned medtech veteran to the management team and board. Additionally, we expect the new CEO to be well received by investors given our recent diligence suggested Mr. Hanson was at the top of investors’ short list of potential candidates.””

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