For Immediate Release
Chicago, IL - March 8, 2018 - 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 Merck MRK , McDonald's MCD , Broadcom AVGO , Activision ATVI and Marvell Technology MRVL .
Here are highlights from Wednesday's Analyst Blog:
Top Research Reports for Merck, McDonald's and Broadcom
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 Merck, McDonald's and Broadcom. These research reports have been hand-picked from the roughly 70 reports published by our analyst team today.
Merck 's shares have underperformed the Zacks Large Cap Pharmaceuticals industry over the past year, losing -17.5% versus a gain of +8.4%. The Zacks analyst thinks Merck's new products like Keytruda, Lynparza, and Bridion should continue to contribute meaningfully to the top line in 2018.
Keytruda sales are gaining strong momentum with approval for additional indications especially in the first-line lung cancer setting as it is the only anti-PD-1 approved in this setting. Animal Health unit is also strong and remains a core growth driver for Merck.
Meanwhile, Merck will continue to focus on cost-cutting initiatives to drive the bottom line. However, generic competition for several drugs and pricing pressure will continue to be overhangs on the top line. Rising competitive pressure on the diabetes franchise and on products like Isentress (HIV), Zepatier (HCV) and Zostavax (vaccine) will remain headwinds in 2018.
Shares of McDonald's have gained +18% over the past year, outperforming the Zacks Restaurants industry which has gained +11.6% over the same period. Notably, growing guest count remains McDonald's top priority and it is undertaking various sales and digital initiatives to this end.
As a result, Q4 marked the fourth consecutive quarter of comparable guest count growth for the company. Increased focus on delivery, enhancement of digital capabilities, and accelerated deployment of Experience of the Future restaurants in the United States will drive growth.
In fact, global comps at McDonald's have been positive over the past nine quarters. Meanwhile, augmented focus on refranchising will cut the company's capital requirements and facilitate EPS growth and ROE expansion in the long run.
Yet, higher costs along with currency headwinds may hurt profits. Also, a soft industry backdrop in the United States and macroeconomic concerns in some parts of the world might limit sales growth.
Broadcom 's shares have handily beaten the Zacks Electronics - Semiconductors industry over the past year, gaining +14.3% vs. +11.2%. Broadcom is benefiting from strong demand of its wireless solutions and expanding product portfolio, which makes it well-positioned to address the needs of rapidly growing technologies like IoT and 5G.
Broadcom has recently inked financing agreements with various institutions to fund Qualcomm's proposed takeover. If completed, then this deal will make it the third-largest chipmaker, behind Intel and Samsung. The company also has strong ties with leading OEMs across multiple target markets that will help it to gain key insights into the requirements of customers.
Moreover, the upcoming launch of the next generation WiFi products is expected to be a growth driver for the segment. However, customer concentration, intensifying competition, integration risks due to frequent acquisitions and leverage balance sheet are key headwinds.
Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Activision and Marvell Technology.
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Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Merck & Company, Inc. (MRK): Free Stock Analysis Report Marvell Technology Group Ltd. (MRVL): Free Stock Analysis Report Broadcom Limited (AVGO): Free Stock Analysis Report McDonald's Corporation (MCD): Free Stock Analysis Report Activision Blizzard, Inc (ATVI): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research