For Immediate Release
Chicago, IL – December 15, 2017 – Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include Microsoft MSFT, Johnson & Johnson JNJ, ExxonMobil XOM, American Airlines AAL and Honda HMC.
Here are highlights from Thursday’s Analyst Blog:
Top Analyst Reports for Microsoft, J&J and ExxonMobil
The Zacks Research Daily presents the best research output of our analyst team. Today's Research Daily features new research reports on 16 major stocks, including Microsoft, Johnson & Johnson and ExxonMobil. These research reports have been hand-picked from the roughly 70 reports published by our analyst team today.
You can see all of today’s research reports here >>>
Microsoft’s shares have outperformed the Zacks Technology sector in the year to date period (up +37.3% versus +27%) The Zacks analyst expects rapid adoption of Azure and Office 365 to remain the key catalysts for Microsoft in the near future. This, along with lower spending will drive operating margin expansion in fiscal 2018. Further, collaborations with the likes of Amazon, Red Hat, Symantec, Cray and PAREXEL are positive for the company's growth prospects.
Microsoft’s strategic initiatives to enter the augmented reality and virtual reality market with the acquisition of Altspace VR and launch of mixed reality headsets will be other positives. Additionally, its recent blockchain deals with Hapoalim and Accenture and its Coco framework are tailwinds. However, intense competition from Sony’s PS4 is a major headwind. Additionally, declining PC shipments doesn't bode well for the company.
(You can read the full research report on Microsoft here >>>).
Shares of Johnson & Johnson have gained +24.1% in the year-to-date period, outperforming the +17.7% gain of the Zacks Large Cap Pharmaceuticals industry. Sales in J&J’s domestic Pharma segment decelerated in the first half of 2017 as a number of key growth drivers like Remicade and Concerta are facing competition. However, sales growth accelerated in Q3 and the positive trend is expected to continue in Q4.
The Zacks analyst thinks new products in all segments, label expansion of drugs like Imbruvica and Darzalex and contribution from recent acquisitions -- mainly Actelion -- can support top-line growth. Meanwhile, share buybacks and the restructuring initiative should provide bottom-line support. J&J is also making rapid progress with its pipeline and line extensions.
However, headwinds like generics, pricing pressure and soft global market conditions remain. Sluggish growth in the Consumer segment is also a concern.
(You can read the full research report on Johnson & Johnson here >>>).
ExxonMobil’s shares have underperformed the Zacks Integrated Oil industry (-7.9% vs. +5.2%) as well as peer Chevron (+1.9%) in the year to date period. However, ExxonMobil has a leading position in the energy industry owing to the size and diversity of its asset base, both in terms of business mix and geographical footprint. With a stable cash position, the company’s balance sheet is one of the best in the industry, reflecting declining debt load over the first nine months of 2017.
The Zacks analyst likes ExxonMobil’s plans to combine its refining & marketing businesses as this will allow the company to take better decisions and boost performance. ExxonMobil will generate more cashflow from downstream activities, also helping it counter the volatility in its upstream business. However, dependence on costly offshore drilling might dent ExxonMobil’s cashflow.
(You can read the full research report on ExxonMobil here >>>).
Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include American Airlines and Honda.
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Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss. This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit https://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.
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American Airlines Group, Inc. (AAL) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Honda Motor Company, Ltd. (HMC) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Exxon Mobil Corporation (XOM) : Free Stock Analysis Report
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