Akamai, American International , Walmart, Amazon and Kroger as Zacks Bull and Bear of the Day

A generic image of a pair of glasses on top of a calculator
Credit: Shutterstock photo

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL - May 22, 2018 - Zacks Equity Research highlights Akamai TechnologiesAKAM as the Bull of the Day and American International GroupAIG as the Bear of the Day. In addition, Zacks Equity Research provides analysis on WalmartWMT , AmazonAMZN and KrogerKR .

Here is a synopsis of all five stocks:

Bull of the Day :

Akamai Technologiesis one of those companies that's not necessarily a household name, but that virtually everyone interacts with on a daily basis without even being aware of it.

Akamai's "Intelligent Platform" is a distributed cloud computing network of over 240,000 servers worldwide which gathers real-time data on net traffic and congestion and uses complex proprietary algorithms to ensure the most efficient content delivery possible. An estimated 15-30% of all web traffic is routed through Akamai's network.

Akamai's customers take advantage of this vast network to have content delivered from server locations that are geographically closet to the end user, ensuring the best performance and user experience possible. Akamai also provides advanced cloud security services.

Akamai has been steadily growing revenue and earnings and has beat the Zacks Consensus Earnings Estimate in each of the past 4 quarters, including a strong Q1 one report in which management raised guidance for 2018.

Q1 revenues were $669M, with $353M coming from the Web Division and $316M from the Media and Carrier division, increases of 16% and 6% respectively, over the year-ago period. Net earnings were $0.79/share beating estimates of $0.70 by 13%.

The real bonus for investors was that the company raised guidance for both Q2 and FY2018.

CEO Dr. Tom Leighton stated "We are pleased with the results of our first quarter performance, which featured continued outstanding growth in our security business, substantial improvement I our media business, marginal expansion and accelerated revenue growth overall."

Akamai is clearly firing on all cylinders. Revenues next quarter are expected to be in the range of $658M - $670M and earning between $0.79/share and $0.83/share. Full year earnings guidance is now $3.15/share to $3.25/share, up from previous guidance of $2.90 - $3.01/share.

Akamai shares are up 17% in 2018, handily beating the Internet Services industry as a whole, which has declined 5%.

Bear of the Day :

After nearly collapsing during the financial crisis in 2008, American International Group was once of the most high-profile beneficiaries of U.S. government intervention in the Troubled Asset Relief Program, commonly referred to as TARP.

Having decided that the failure of AIG, with its large and diverse basket of assets and liabilities would cause catastrophic damage to the U.S. financial system and economy, the U.S. became AIG's largest shareholder, at one point owning 61% of the company's shares. The program mandated significant changes to AIG's structure, including a new corporate governance structure, and a reduction in exposure to risky derivative securities.

By 2012, the U.S. Treasury and federal Reserve had not only recouped all of the $182 billion they had staked to the bailout, but after selling all of its remaining shares, actually posted a profit of nearly $23 billion on the transaction.

Thanks to the austerity measures levied on the company while under government ownership, AIG has never returned to the high-flying status it enjoyed before the crisis. The size of the company was cut by nearly 50% in terms of assets and its exposure to derivatives was lowered by over 90%.

Although a much safer and more stable company, the huge insurer is a mere shadow if its former self in terms of profits. Even in an environment of low interest rates, a rising stock market and softening regulations that should benefit financial companies, AIG has underperformed, with shares up just 34% in the past 5 years versus an average of better than 50% for the insurance industry. 2018 has been even worse, with the stock down 7% YTD.

3 Retail Stocks to Buy Ahead of Quarterly Earnings

Is Walmart (WMT) Still Cheap Right Now?

Shares of Walmart opened higher on Monday just a few trading days after the company reported solid first-quarter earnings results. With that said, Walmart's stock price had sunk over the last few months, which means now might be a great time to consider buying the retail giant at a relatively cheap price.

Walmart's overall revenues climbed roughly 4.4% from the year-ago period to hit $122.7 billion in the first quarter, with comp sales up 2.1%. Meanwhile, the company's adjusted earnings surged by 14% to reach $1.14 per share, which also topped the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.12 per share.

Investors should also have been pleased to see that Walmart's U.S. e-commerce sales popped by 33%, despite increased competition from Amazon and other online sellers. Now, let's take a look at Walmart's price movement before we dive into why the company's current valuation looks rather enticing.

Recent Price Movement

Walmart stock was up roughly 8% over the last year before Monday's gains. However, shares of Walmart had sunk 9.8% during the last 12 weeks and 4.8% over the last four weeks as investors reacted negatively to the company's slower fourth-quarter e-commerce growth.

Furthermore, shares of Walmart sat at their 52-week high of $109 per share in late January. Walmart stock opened Monday at $84.14 per share, which means shares of Walmart are much cheaper than they were to start the year just based on price alone.

Still, investors need to know a little more before they can say that Walmart stock is currently offering a ton of value.


Coming into Monday, Walmart stock was trading at 16.9X forward 12-months earnings estimates. Walmart stock has traded as high as 23.8X over the past year, with its median resting at 17.9X. The company is also currently trading just slightly above its year-long low of 16.4X, which it rested at briefly in early July of last year.

Walmart stock is also trading directly in line with the S&P 500's average of 16.9X. Furthermore, the company compares favorably to the "Retail - Supermarkets" industry's current average forward P/E ratio of 16.3. This industry includes the likes of Kroger other large U.S. grocery chains.

Based on the last year alone, investors should be able to say with some conviction that Walmart stock is rather attractive at its current valuation, and pretty cheap compared to where it has traded recently.

Growth Outlook

Lastly, it is worth considering Walmart's current growth prospects. The company is projected to see its second-quarter earnings climb by 12.9% to touch $1.22 per share, based on our current Zacks Consensus Estimates. For the full-year, Walmart is expected to hit $4.86 per share, which would mark a nearly 10% surge from a year ago.

Meanwhile, Walmart's revenues are only projected to pop by 1.8% in Q2, while full-year revenues are projected to climb by 2.08% to reach $510.74 billion. Investors might be a bit less pleased to see these top-line projections, but it is worth considering just how hard it is to post massive top-line growth when the company is expected to pull in over $510 billion.

Our 2% full-year growth estimate would mean Walmart expanded its top line by $10 billion.

Looking for Stocks with Skyrocketing Upside?

Zacks has just released a Special Report on the booming investment opportunities of legal marijuana.

Ignited by new referendums and legislation, this industry is expected to blast from an already robust $6.7 billion to $20.2 billion in 2021. Early investors stand to make a killing, but you have to be ready to act and know just where to look.

See the pot trades we're targeting>>

Follow us on Twitter:

Join us on Facebook:

Zacks Investment Research is under common control with affiliated entities (including a broker-dealer and an investment adviser), which may engage in transactions involving the foregoing securities for the clients of such affiliates.

Media Contact

Zacks Investment Research

800-767-3771 ext. 9339 provides investment resources and informs you of these resources, which you may choose to use in making your own investment decisions. Zacks is providing information on this resource to you subject to the Zacks "Terms and Conditions of Service" disclaimer. .

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 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, Inc. (AMZN): Free Stock Analysis Report

Akamai Technologies, Inc. (AKAM): Free Stock Analysis Report

American International Group, Inc. (AIG): Free Stock Analysis Report

Walmart Inc. (WMT): Free Stock Analysis Report

The Kroger Co. (KR): Free Stock Analysis Report

To read this article on click here.

Zacks Investment Research

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

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

In This Story


Other Topics


Latest Markets Videos


Zacks is the leading investment research firm focusing on stock research, analysis and recommendations. In 1978, our founder discovered the power of earnings estimate revisions to enable profitable investment decisions. Today, that discovery is still the heart of the Zacks Rank. A wealth of resources for individual investors is available at

Learn More