The Zacks Analyst Philip Morris, ConocoPhillips, Alibaba, Activision Blizzard and Marriott

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL - May 14, 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 Philip Morris PM , ConocoPhillips COP , Alibaba BABA , Activision Blizzard ATVI and Marriott MAR .

Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of the Day pick for free.

Here are highlights from Friday's Analyst Blog:

Top Analyst Reports for Philip Morris, ConocoPhillips and Alibaba

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 Philip Morris, ConocoPhillips and Alibaba. These research reports have been hand-picked from the roughly 70 reports published by our analyst team today.

You can see all oftoday's research reports here >>>

Philip Morris ' shares have underperformed the Zacks Tobacco industry over the last six months (-19.8% vs. -17.5%) due to persistent declines in cigarette volumes, stemming from consumers' rising health consciousness and stringent government regulations on tobacco products. These factors, which have been marring cigarette industry volumes for a while now, led to a 5.3% drop in Phillip Morris' cigarette volumes during first-quarter 2018.

Nevertheless, solid revenues from the reduced risk products (RRPs) category are a major driver for Phillip Morris. The company is making constant efforts to expand in the space. In fact, the top and the bottom line grew year over year during the first-quarter, courtesy of favorable cigarette pricing and solid RRP performance, with the latter being driven by consistent success of IQOS. Management uplifted its earnings view for 2018, as it expects recent tax reforms to aid bottom-line growth.

(You can read the full research report on Philip Morris here >>> ).

Shares of ConocoPhillips are up +47.6% over the last year, outperforming the Zacks U.S. Integrated Oil industry, which has gained +33.6% over the same period. The Zacks analyst likes the company's initiative to divest non-core assets as the explorer could divert the proceeds toward oil-rich Eagle Ford and Bakken shale plays.

Significant opportunities are left for ConocoPhillips in the Eagle Ford where it owns 3,400 undrilled locations that could lend access to almost 2.3 billion barrels of oil equivalent estimated potential reserves. The company recently reported strong first-quarter 2018 results, courtesy of higher oil and natural gas price realizations.

However, we are cautious about ConocoPhillips' expectations of a rise in production and operating expenses. Moreover, ConocoPhillips' long-term debt is more than double its cash balance, which is a concern.

(You can read the full research report on ConocoPhillips here >>> ).

Alibaba 's shares have outperformed the Zacks Electronic Commerce industry over the last year, gaining +62.8% vs. +48.6%. The company's fiscal fourth quarter results were driven by strong momentum in the company's core e-commerce business, New Retail strategy and expanding cloud business.

Its recent investment in Lazada will expand its presence in Asia. The Zacks analyst likes the company's solid growth in the company's core e-commerce business, strong growth in metrics, expanding cloud business and international strength.

Other drivers include strong mobile strength and its continued efforts to develop new products. However, macro headwinds, continued investments and increasing competition from Tencent Holdings and Baidu remain the overhangs.

(You can read the full research report on Alibaba here >>> ).

Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Activision Blizzard and Marriott.

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Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1 Stock of the Day pick for free .

About Zacks Equity Research

Zacks Equity Research provides the best of quantitative and qualitative analysis to help investors know what stocks to buy and which to sell for the long-term.

Continuous coverage is provided for a universe of 1,150 publicly traded stocks. Our analysts are organized by industry which gives them keen insights to developments that affect company profits and stock performance. Recommendations and target prices are six-month time horizons.

Strong Stocks that Should Be in the News

Many are little publicized and fly under the Wall Street radar. They're virtually unknown to the general public. Yet today's 220 Zacks Rank #1 "Strong Buys" were generated by the stock-picking system that has nearly tripled the market from 1988 through 2015. Its average gain has been a stellar +26% per year. See these high-potential stocks free >>.

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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.

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

Alibaba Group Holding Limited (BABA): Free Stock Analysis Report

Marriott International (MAR): Free Stock Analysis Report

ConocoPhillips (COP): Free Stock Analysis Report

Philip Morris International Inc. (PM): Free Stock Analysis Report

Activision Blizzard, Inc (ATVI): Free Stock Analysis Report

To read this article on Zacks.com click here.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

This article appears in: Investing , Stocks
Referenced Symbols: BABA , MAR , COP , PM , ATVI

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