Analysts’ upgrades for Friday, May 24th:

Big Lots (NYSE:BIG) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a buy rating. They currently have $33.00 price target on the stock. According to Zacks, “Although shares of Big Lots have lagged the industry in the past three months, it is likely to witness an above-average performance in the near term. The company’s Store of the Future initiative and the e-commerce business bode well. Moreover, it has delivered better-than-expected earnings in fourth-quarter fiscal 2018. The metric also increased year over year. Further, the company revealed its plans to launch a three-year cost reduction program, which focuses on organization size and structure, store payroll, indirect costs, supply chain and cost of goods sold. Also, Big Lots is committed to boost shareholder value through dividends and share buybacks. However, the company’s top line missed the consensus mark and declined year over year on reduced store count. Also, the company is grappling with higher costs that are weighing on margins. Further, management issued a soft view for fiscal 2019. Stiff competition is an added concern.”

Celldex Therapeutics (NASDAQ:CLDX) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a sell rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “Celldex reported encouraging first-quarter results wherein earnings and sales surpassed the respective estimates. Following the discontinuation of glembatumumab vedotin studies in 2018, Celldex is focused on developing its anti-cancer pipeline candidates including CDX-301, which is being developed for the lucrative lung cancer market. Celldex’s collaboration with Bristol-Myers is encouraging as it lent solid support as well as expertise. Meanwhile, the Kolltan acquisition added some interesting candidates to the company’s pipeline. However, the failure of glembatumumab vedotin was a major setback. With no approved products, further pipeline setbacks will severely impact Celldex. The company depends entirely on licensing agreements, contracts and grants for revenues. Shares of the company have underperformed the industry in the past year.”

Cooper Tire & Rubber (NYSE:CTB) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a sell rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “In the first quarter of 2019, Cooper Tire’s earnings and revenues beat the respective Zacks Consensus Estimate. Quarterly results were driven by North America tire operation, aided by favorable pricing and product mix. For 2019, the company expectsmodest growth in unit volume, majorly driven by North America. Further, it has formed a JV with Sailun in Vietnam to manufacture TBR tires, one of the popular tires sold in North America. Reducing dependence on China for the tire production will lower its tariff costs, thereby, driving the bottom-line. However, challenging market conditions in Europe and Latin America, and cautious Asia market are likely to hamper Cooper Tire’s volume in international markets in the upcoming quarters. Also, soaring tariff costs, owing to TBR tire imports from China to the United States, along with rising raw material costs, are hampering its bottom line.”

Dycom Industries (NYSE:DY) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a sell rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “Shares of Dycom gained significantly after the company posted better-than-expected first-quarter fiscal 2020 results. Notably, the company’s first-quarter earnings and revenues topped the Zacks Consensus Estimates by 23.3% and 8.2%, respectively. Also, organic revenues surged 15.8% year over year backed by deployment of 1-gigabit wireline networks, wireless/wireline converged networks and wireless networks. However, adjusted earnings and margins declined year over year due to higher-than-expected costs of a large customer program. Bankruptcy of a major customer is also weighing on its results. Consequently, Dycom issued a weak guidance for second-quarter earnings and margins. Furthermore, the consensus mark for fiscal 2020 moved southwards over the past seven days, depicting analysts' concern over the company's earnings growth potential.”

Ensco Rowan (NYSE:ESV) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a buy rating. They currently have $10.00 target price on the stock. According to Zacks, “A leading supplier of offshore contract drilling services, EnscoRowan operates a high-quality and technically-advanced fleet of more than 80 rigs that include ultra-deepwater drillships, versatile semisubmersibles and modern shallow-water jackups. It is poised to benefit from the market, given its technologically advanced and versatile drilling fleet. The recent conjunction between Ensco and Rowan is expected to create around $1.1 billion of capitalized value from cost synergies. Moreover, EnscoRowan’s contracted revenue backlog of $2.6 billion is stirring. The company reported adjusted first-quarter 2019 loss of $1.69 a share, narrower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of $1.79, on the back of Higher utilization of Jackups. A such, the stock offers tremendous upside potential from its current levels. “

Heico (NYSE:HEI) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a buy rating. The firm currently has $116.00 target price on the stock. According to Zacks, “HEICO Corp.'s share price outperformed its broader market in the past 12 months. Increased demand for new products ranging from aftermarket replacement parts to repair and overhaul parts along with services product lines have been fueling organic growth. Its operational performance also exhibits solid inorganic growth history, thanks to the disciplined acquisition strategy followed by the company. A strong balance sheet and cash flow generation capacity also provides the company financial flexibility. However, the company  competes in a fragmented marketplace with the industry’s leading jet engine and aircraft component OEMs. The company also competes with some of the well capitalized peer companies.”

Vail Resorts (NYSE:MTN) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a sell rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “Shares of Vail Resorts have underperformed the industry in the past year. Increased expenses related to operations, acquisitions and pertinent weather-related woes continue to hurt profitability. Moreover, intense competition from various modes of entertainment provider is concerning. Also, in order to finance its acquisitions, the company increased its borrowings. It borrowed $70 million for financing the Stevens Pass acquisition and an additional $195.6 million to fund the Triple Peaks acquisition. However, a full-proof business model and wide range of guest-centric offerings position the company for growth. Vail Resorts has a season pass program, which is likely to drive revenues. Further, increased focus on mergers and acquisitions along with effective marketing techniques bode well.”

Restaurant Brands International (NYSE:QSR) (TSE:QSR) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a sell rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “Shares of Restaurant Brands have underperformed the industry in the past three months. Recently, the company reported first-quarter 2019 results, wherein earnings missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate but revenues surpassed the same. However, both the top and bottom line increased on a year-over-year basis. Furthermore, solid expansion efforts, various sales building strategies and focus on franchise business model bode well for the company. Restaurant Brands is also optimistic about its strategies that are likely to drive comparable sales and profitability for all three iconic brands in the long run. Nonetheless, competition and increased labor wages might hurt profits. The company also has limited influence over its franchisees. Consequently, its ability to control restaurants’ operations, and implement operational initiatives and business strategies is restricted.”

Syneos Health (NASDAQ:SYNH) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a sell rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “We are upbeat about Syneos Health's strong year-over-year revenue growth across both operating segments. It is also encouraging to note that the company has been witnessing growing customer interest in Syneos One. Also, Syneos Health seems to be very positive about the solid prospects within the CRO and CCO markets. Strong RFP (Request For Proposal) flow, a diverse portfolio of clinical and commercial initiatives and sustained customer interest in the company’s integrated offerings buoy optimism. However, Syneos Health has been consistently underperforming its industry in the past year. Contraction in operating margin, strict regulatory environment and tough competitive landscape are a few concerning factors.”

Tech Data (NASDAQ:TECD) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a buy rating. Zacks Investment Research currently has $103.00 price target on the stock. According to Zacks, “Shares of Tech Data have outperformed the industry in the past six months. Although fourth-quarter fiscal 2019 top line missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate, investors were encouraged by the bottom-line beat. In fact, sales registered year-on-year growth in the past seven quarters. Further, the company’s top-line growth was mainly driven by solid sales performance in the Americas, with robust growth in cloud, storage, networking and notebooks. Moreover, Tech Data is working toward being a more flexible and cost-effective organization with the Global Business Optimization Program. The increasing demand for data center systems, cloud and mobility products also bodes well. Nevertheless, the company witnessed elevated SG&A costs for the past few quarters and is likely to remain a concern. Also, intense competition and headwinds related to data security act as deterrents.”

UBS Group (NYSE:UBS) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a sell 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. First-quarter 2019 results were impacted by decline in net fee and commission income and interest income, partially offset by lower expenses. Considerable portion of the company's earnings continues to be affected by appreciation of the Swiss franc against other currencies. Also, its net interest income remains under pressure due to persistent negative interest rates in the domestic economy. Additionally, a strict regulatory framework is likely to keep costs elevated and impact profitability. Further, unsustainable capital deployment activities keep us apprehensive. However, the company remains focused on building capital levels, global expansion and executing restructuring initiatives. Also, its cost saving plans will aid in bottom-line growth.”

Upwork (NASDAQ:UPWK) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a sell rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “Upwork Inc. provides online recruitment services. The Company offers jobs in the categories such as website developers, virtual assistants, sales and marketing experts, accountants and consultants. Upwork Inc. is based in CA, United States. “

Meridian Bioscience (NASDAQ:VIVO) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a sell rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “Meridian Bioscience, Inc. is a fully integrated life science company that manufactures, markets and distributes a broad range of innovative diagnostic test kits, purified reagents and biopharmaceutical enabling technologies that help deliver answers. Its products provide accuracy, simplicity and speed for the early diagnosis and treatment of common medical conditions, such as C. difficile, H. pylori, foodborne diseases and respiratory infections. In addition, the company develops and manufactures a variety of biological and non-biological materials used in proficiency testing programs. Meridian diagnostic products are used outside of the human body and require little or no special equipment. Meridian Bioscience designs their products to enhance the well-being of the patient-while reducing the total outcome costs of healthcare. Meridian has strong market positions in the areas of gastrointestinal infections, serology, parasitology and fungal disease diagnosis. “

VOESTALPINE AG/ADR (OTCMKTS:VLPNY) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a sell rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “voestalpine AG is engaged in the production, processing and distribution of steel products. Its operating division consists of Steel, Special Steel, Metal Engineering, Metal Forming and Other. Steel division focuses on the production and processing of flat steel products for the automotive, white goods and construction industries. Special Steel division segment manufactures tool steel and high-speed steel. Metal Engineering division produces rails and turnout products, rod wire, drawn wire, premium seamless tubes and welding filler materials. Metal Forming division offers special sections, tube products, and precision strip steel as well as pre-finished system components. Other segment provides coordination services and assistance to the subsidiaries. voestalpine AG is headquartered in Linz, Austria. “

Valvoline (NYSE:VVV) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a sell rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “Valvoline Inc. is a producer and distributor of premium-branded automotive, commercial and industrial lubricants as well as automotive chemicals. The company’s brand and franchises consists of Valvoline Instant Oil Change(SM), Valvoline lubricants and automotive chemicals (TM), MaxLife lubricants (TM), SynPower(TM) and Zerex(TM) antifreeze. Valvoline Inc. is based in Lexington, United States. “

WP Carey (NYSE:WPC) was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a sell rating to a hold rating. According to Zacks, “W. P. Carey Inc. is a real estate investment trust engaged in providing long-term sale-leaseback and build-to-suit financing for companies. The firm primarily invests in commercial properties that are generally triple-net leased to single corporate tenants including office, warehouse, industrial, logistics, retail, hotel, R&D, and self-storage properties. W. P. Carey Inc., formerly known as W. P. Carey & Co. LLC, is based in New York. “

Receive News & Ratings for Big Lots Inc Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Big Lots Inc and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.