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Smokestacks at an Algonquin Power facility in Brampton, Ont.

Inside the Market's roundup of some of today's key analyst actions. This file will be updated during the trading day.

Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp.'s attempt to acquire an Ohio-based gas distribution company Gas Natural Inc. appears unlikely to go ahead, according to CIBC World Markets analyst Paul Lechem. But Algonquin has other growth options, he said.

"While the Gas Natural acquisition appears to have stalled, Algonquin still has a strong development pipeline of projects ahead of it," Mr. Lechem said.

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Last week, Algonquin posted second-quarter earnings that beat analyst expectations, at the same time announcing a 12-per-cent dividend increase.

Mr. Lechem raised his price target on the stock to $9 (Canadian) from $8.25 while maintaining a "sector performer" rating. "While the outlook is solid, we believe that the stock is fairly valued at current levels," he said.

The analyst consensus price target is $9.18, according to Thomson Reuters.

=====

FirstEnergy Capital reinitiated coverage of Cardinal Energy Ltd. after a month in which the company completed an acquisition, issued equity, hiked its dividend and posted strong second-quarter earnings, analyst Cody Kwong said.

He raised his target price on Cardinal's stock to $24 (Canadian) from $21 and maintained an "outperform" rating.

"In our view these low risk, high quality assets will combine to offer both solid dividend and equity returns into the foreseeable future," Mr. Kwong said. "We believe that with the market capitalization approaching the $1-billion threshold, this stock will become of interest to a wider investor base which could have meaningful positive implications for its current valuation."

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The analyst consensus price target is $22.31, according to Thomson Reuters.

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In other analyst actions:

AGCO Corp. was downgraded to "underperform" from "neutral" at Macquarie by equity analyst Sameer Rathod. The 12-month target price is $44.00 (U.S.) per share.

Ampio Pharmaceuticals Inc. was downgraded to "hold" from "buy" at Jefferies by equity analyst Biren Amin. The 12-month target price is $5.00 (U.S.) per share.

DCT Industrial Trust Inc. was downgraded to "market perform" from "outperform" at BMO Capital Markets by equity analyst Paul Adornato. The target price is $9.00 (U.S.) per share.

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Deere & Co. was downgraded to "underperform" from "neutral" at Macquarie by equity analyst Sameer Rathod. The 12-month target price is $75.00 (U.S.) per share.

Dollarama Inc. was downgraded to "hold" from "buy" at Industrial Alliance by equity analyst Neil Linsdell. The 12-month target price is $95.00 (Canadian) per share.

The Gap Inc. was upgraded to "buy" from "neutral" at Janney Montgomery by equity analyst Adrienne Tennant. The 12-month target price is $51.00 (U.S.) per share.

China Lodging Group Ltd. was upgraded to "accumulate" from "neutral" at GuoTai JunAn by equity analyst Noah Hudson. The target price is $27.60 (U.S.) per share.

Independent Bank Corp. was upgraded to "outperform" from "market perform" at FIG Partners by equity analyst John Rodis. The 12-month target price is $14.00 (U.S.) per share.

Liberty Property Trust was downgraded to "market perform" from "putperform" at BMO Capital Markets by equity analyst Paul Adornato. The target price is $36.00 (U.S.) per share.

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Marquee Energy Ltd. was upgraded to "buy" from "speculative buy" at Canaccord Genuity by equity analyst Anthony Petrucci. The 12-month target price is $1.75 (Canadian) per share.

PG&E Corp. was downgraded to "hold" from "buy" at Argus by equity analyst Lucy Moore.

Perry Ellis International Inc. was downgraded to "hold" from "buy" at KeyBanc by equity analyst Edward Yruma.

SuperCom Ltd. was rated new "outperform" at Imperial Capital by equity analyst Ashok Kumar. The 12-month target price is $14.00 (U.S.) per share.

The Fresh Market Inc. was upgraded to "buy" from "hold" at BB&T Capital by equity analyst Andrew Wolf. The 12-month target price is $41.00 (U.S.) per share.

With files from Bloomberg

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