Friday, May 18, 2018
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 Walmart (WMT), AT&T (T) and Novo Nordisk (NVO). 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 >>>
Walmart 's shares have gained +7.3% in the last year, outperforming the Zacks Supermarkets industry's +5.4% gain in the same time period, courtesy of its superb omni-channel initiatives. The Zacks analyst thinks the company's robust e-commerce initiatives like buyouts, online grocery, improved delivery systems, along with store remodeling and merchandise enhancement efforts have been working well.
These trends helped Walmart post its 15th straight quarter of U.S. comps growth in first-quarter fiscal 2019, wherein earnings and sales rose year over year, with e-commerce sales up 33%. However, gross margin remains strained due to price investments and transport costs. Also, investors are somewhat jittery about the Walmart-Flipkart deal, which is expected to hurt earnings in the near term.
Nevertheless, long-term prospects from the deal look solid, which falls in line with Walmart's strategy to shift focus to profitable regions (mainly China and India). This is also reflected in Walmart's decision to merge its UK grocery arm, Asda with Sainsbury.
(You can read the full research report on Walmart here >>> ).
Shares of AT&T have decreased -14.1% in the last three months, underperforming the Zacks Wireless National industry's fall of -8.1%. AT&T is gearing up to launch the first standards-based mobile 5G services to consumers in multiple U.S. markets by the end of 2018.
The Zacks analyst thinks the company is likely to immensely benefit from its long-pending merger with Time Warner Inc., with the combined entity expected to become a major player in the consolidated telecom-media space. Although the matter remains sub judice , the company is likely to go on the offensive to seek a verdict in its favor.
However, AT&T's profitability has been hurt with spectrum crunch in a saturated wireless market. In addition, the company's wireline division is struggling with persistent losses in access lines due to competitive pressure from voice-over-Internet protocol service providers and aggressive triple-play offerings by cable firms. These are weighing on AT&T's revenues and margins.
(You can read the full research report on AT&T here >>> ).
Novo Nordisk 's shares have outperformed the Zacks Large Cap Pharmaceuticals industry in the last year (up +19.9% vs. +2.8%). Novo Nordisk's first-quarter earnings beat estimates while sales missed the same. A strong performance of drugs like Victoza, Tresiba and Saxenda is driving sales in Novo Nordisk's Diabetes segment.
In December 2017, the company received approval for Ozempic (semaglutide) for the treatment of type II diabetes, which was an important approval for the company. However, the Zacks analyst thinks continued growth from Victoza and Tresiba as well as higher contributions from Saxenda and Xultophy will be partly offset by the impact of lower realized prices in the United States, loss of exclusivity for products in hormone replacement therapy, intensifying competition within the diabetes and biopharmaceutical markets and unfavorable macro conditions in several international markets.
(You can read the full research report on Novo Nordisk here >>> ).
Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Allergan (AGN), Cigna (CI) and BCE (BCE).
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Note: Sheraz Mian heads the Zacks Equity Research department and is a well-regarded expert of aggregate earnings. He is frequently quoted in the print and electronic media and publishes the weekly Earnings Trendsand Earnings Previewreports. If you want an email notification each time Sheraz publishes a new article, please click here>>>
Today's Must Read
Ecommerce Sales to Fuel Walmart (WMT), Soft Margins a Worry
AT&T (T) Remains Focused on 5G Launch, Spectrum Woes Persist
Novo Nordisk (NVO) Sports Stong Pipeline Amid Competition
Allergan's (AGN) Key Drugs & Cost Cuts to Dispel Generic Woes
Allergan faces generic competition for key drugs Namenda XR and Restasis in 2018. The Zacks analyst thinks new drugs and cost cuts can shield it from potential sales drop.
Restaurant Brands (QSR) Rides on Franchising Amid Competition
The Zacks analyst believes that focus on franchising should reduce Restaurant Brands' capital requirements and facilitate earnings growth.
Increasing Commissions and Fees Aid Willis Towers (WLTW)
Per the Zacks analyst, growth in commissions and fees driven by solid customer retention level and growing new business well poise Willis Towers for growth.
Regulated Operations, Investments Aids FirstEnergy (FE)
The Zacks analyst believes FirstEnergy's transition to a fully regulated company and $10B investment plan will boost its performance.
Operational Efficiency & Cost Discipline Benefit BCE (BCE)
Per the Zacks analyst, strong operational and financial performance in wireless and wireline and cost-cutting initiatives will continue to improve BCE's operating margins.
Increasing Membership, Strong Balance Sheet Aids Cigna (CI)
Per the Zacks analyst, membership growth at the company for past several quarters has aided top line growth.
Strong Demand for Content & Retransmission Rates Aid CBS
CBS benefits from an increasing demand for content, rise in re-transmission rates and expansion of direct-to-consumer business.
Integer Holdings (ITGR) Gains From Cardio & Vascular Arm
Integer Holdings delivered strong results in its Cardio & Vascular Wing. The Zacks analyst is also bullish about the company's high organic growth.
Lamar (LAMR) to Grow on Portfolio Upgradation and Expansion
Per the Zacks analyst, Lamar's efforts to upgrade its portfolio will raise display occupancy and advertising rates. Strategic buyouts will also position the company for long-term growth.
Analog Devices (ADI) Rides on Strong Position in Auto Market
The Zacks analyst believes that Analog Devices' strength in the emerging automotive market and contributions from Linear acquisition remain growth catalysts going forward.
JC Penney's (JCP) Soft Margins, Bleak View Raise Concerns
Per the Zacks analyst, J. C. Penney's soft margins and trimmed fiscal 2018 bottom-line view raise concerns. The company incurred loss in the first quarter against earnings in the previous quarter.
Weak Retail Refrigeration, Separation Costs Ail Dover (DOV)
Per the Zacks analyst, softer overall markets in retail refrigeration and separation costs pertaining to Apergy spinoff will impact Dover's near-term results.
Turkey Market Challenges Ail Hormel Foods (HRL)
Per the Zacks analyst, excess turkey meat stock and lower turkey prices might continue to hurt Hormel Foods' Jennie-O Turkey Store segment's results in the quarters ahead.
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 reportWalmart Inc. (WMT): Free Stock Analysis ReportAT&T Inc. (T): Free Stock Analysis ReportNovo Nordisk A/S (NVO): Free Stock Analysis ReportCigna Corporation (CI): Free Stock Analysis ReportBCE, Inc. (BCE): Free Stock Analysis ReportAllergan plc (AGN): Free Stock Analysis ReportTo read this article on Zacks.com click here.