Analyst waiting for update on Life Time REIT options

Last summer, Life Time Fitness announced it would explore spinning off the real estate assets of its health and fitness centers into a real estate investment trust. Life Time is currently trading around $55 per share, but KeyBanc Capital Markets analyst Scott Hamann thinks the combined value of a REIT and an operating company could be worth $70 per share. Life Time hasn't provided any updates on the REIT options since its third quarter earnings announcement, and Hamann is moving from "buy" to "hold" while he waits for another REIT update, likely to come during the company's fourth quarter earnings call on Thursday. He writes there is a risk that shares could fall below $50 per share if Life Time delays or abandons the idea. "We prefer to move to the sidelines at this point, given that we admittedly do not have an edge into the event," Hamann wrote.

Patrick Kennedy

Pentair sees rating cuts from analysts

J.P. Morgan analyst C. Stephen Tusa Jr. admitted to being wrong on its projections for Pentair PLC and last week cut its rating on the Golden Valley-based industrial company to "neutral" from "overweight."

"We were wrong to count on a bounce back in organic growth," Tusa wrote. "And while execution on margins was as good as we thought, we now believe that without organic growth this is more of a 'rolling restructuring' story."

Tusa pointed out that Pentair underperformed in the last 12 months after outperforming competition in 2013 and the start of 2014. Tusa has cut his estimate on Pentair's 2015 and 2016 earnings per share to $4.10 for 2015 and $4.30 for 2016 (down from his prior estimates of $4.25 and $4.75). Tusa's new estimates are also below consensus analyst expectations of $4.17 and $4.62 per share.

Tusa is the latest analyst to downgrade Pentair. On Feb. 4, Steven Winoker of Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. and Jeffrey Hammond of KeyBanc Capital Markets each cut their ratings on Pentair.

According to Bloomberg, there are now only six "buys" on Pentair and 15 "holds."

Patrick Kennedy

U.S. Bancorp named most admired superregional bank

Last week, Fortune magazine named Minneapolis-based U.S. Bancorp as the most admired superregional bank. It is the fifth year in a row that U.S. Bancorp has topped Fortune's list of superregional banks. Fortune surveys executives, directors and analysts and then ranks companies on nine key industry attributes. This year U.S. Bancorp ranked first among industry peers in eight of the nine key attributes.

Patrick Kennedy