Zacks Investment Research Upgrades Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson (ERIC) to Hold

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report released on Monday, February 5th.

According to Zacks, “Ericsson’s fourth-quarter 2017 loss widened sharply year over year and also missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate significantly, dragged by low investments in mobile broadband and weak demand. The company is struggling amid challenging market conditions and all-pervasive demand weakness. Soft mobile broadband market and shrinking network sales are hurting revenues badly. Over the past six months, Ericsson’s shares have underperformed the industry’s average gain. However, Ericsson has detected signs of improvement and increased stability in product roadmaps and projects. The company plans to invest in R&D to fortify Networks business and intends to stabilize IT & Cloud roadmaps. Ericsson has prioritized three areas of growth — core business, targeted investments and cost & efficiency. Its recent earnings have, however, been hurt by huge restructuring expenses and rising R&D expenses.”

A number of other research analysts have also commented on ERIC. ValuEngine lowered Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report on Friday, February 2nd. Bank of America downgraded Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson from a buy rating to an underperform rating in a research report on Monday, February 5th. Canaccord Genuity reiterated a hold rating and set a $6.00 target price (down from $6.50) on shares of Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson in a research report on Thursday, February 1st. BMO Capital Markets reiterated a hold rating and set a $6.00 target price on shares of Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson in a research report on Friday, October 20th. Finally, Citigroup downgraded Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson from a buy rating to a neutral rating in a research report on Thursday, November 9th. Five analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $5.49.

Shares of Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson (NASDAQ ERIC) traded up $0.18 during midday trading on Monday, reaching $6.57. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 8,911,600 shares, compared to its average volume of 6,351,669. The company has a current ratio of 1.59, a quick ratio of 1.33 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.30. Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson has a 52-week low of $5.52 and a 52-week high of $7.47. The firm has a market cap of $21,305.22, a price-to-earnings ratio of -5.31 and a beta of 0.92.

Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, January 31st. The communications equipment provider reported ($0.14) EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.04 by ($0.18). Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson had a negative net margin of 17.57% and a negative return on equity of 11.30%. The firm had revenue of $57.20 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $58.24 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $0.62 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 12.3% compared to the same quarter last year. research analysts expect that Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson will post 0.03 EPS for the current year.

Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Hotchkis & Wiley Capital Management LLC lifted its position in shares of Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson by 24.6% during the 3rd quarter. Hotchkis & Wiley Capital Management LLC now owns 114,238,889 shares of the communications equipment provider’s stock worth $656,874,000 after buying an additional 22,573,761 shares during the last quarter. Folketrygdfondet lifted its position in shares of Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson by 23.7% during the 3rd quarter. Folketrygdfondet now owns 10,432,504 shares of the communications equipment provider’s stock worth $59,987,000 after buying an additional 2,000,000 shares during the last quarter. Artisan Partners Limited Partnership bought a new stake in shares of Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson during the 3rd quarter worth $46,707,000. Northern Trust Corp lifted its position in shares of Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson by 1.5% during the 2nd quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 2,772,399 shares of the communications equipment provider’s stock worth $19,878,000 after buying an additional 41,831 shares during the last quarter. Finally, FMR LLC lifted its position in shares of Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson by 46.3% during the 2nd quarter. FMR LLC now owns 2,464,210 shares of the communications equipment provider’s stock worth $17,668,000 after buying an additional 779,620 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 8.04% of the company’s stock.

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About Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson

Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson (Ericsson) provides infrastructure, services and software to the telecommunication industry and other sectors. The Company’s segments include Networks, IT & Cloud and Media. The Networks segment consists of two business units: Network Products and Network Services. The overall focus is on evolving and managing access networks, including the development of hardware and software for radio access and transport networks.

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