The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: AbbVie, American Express, Abbott, United Technologies and VMWare

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL - October 17, 2017 - 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 AbbVie (NYSE: ABBV - Free Report ), American Express (NYSE: AXP - Free Report ), Abbott (NYSE: ABT - Free Report ), United Technologies (NYSE: UTX - Free Report ) and VMWare (NYSE: VMW - Free Report ).

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

Here are highlights from Monday's Analyst Blog:

Top Research Reports for AbbVie, American Express and Abbott Labs

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 AbbVie (NYSE: ABBV - Free Report ), American Express (NYSE: AXP - Free Report ) and Abbott (NYSE: ABT - Free Report ). 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 >>>

AbbVie shares have gained +44.8% year to date, outperforming the Zacks Large Cap Pharmaceuticals industry, which has gained +18.3% over the same period. The Zacks analyst likes the strong performance of AbbVie's key drug Humira which should continue to do well. Moreover, Imbruvica has multibillion dollar potential and AbbVie is exploring the possibility of label expansion into solid tumors and autoimmune diseases.

Meanwhile, AbbVie has promising pipeline with several pivotal data readouts and regulatory milestones due in the second half. Maviret, approved recently, has the potential to rejuvenate AbbVie's struggling HCV franchise. However, though Humira is doing well, the company is concerned about the product's long-term growth prospects, given potential biosimilar competition.

Viekira also faces intense pricing and competitive pressure in the HCV market. Estimates have gone up slightly ahead of the company's Q3 earnings release. AbbVie has had a mixed record of earnings surprises in the recent quarters.

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

Shares of American Express are up +55.1% over the last one year, outperforming the Zacks Financial Miscellaneous Services industry, which has gained +34% over the same period. The Zacks analyst likes its solid market position, strength in card business and significant opportunities from the secular shift toward electronic payments.

The company is gaining from investments made in growth opportunities over the last couple of years. Strategic initiatives focusing on the platinum card portfolio and OptBlue program will drive business volume. Cost reduction and return of significant capital to shareholders through dividend and share buyback are other positives.

The stock has seen the Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings being revised 0.5% upward over the last 90 days. However, an increase in provision for losses, foreign exchange volatility, loss of Costco as a client and intense competition remain major near-term concerns.

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

Buy-rated Abbott 's shares have gained +12.1% over the last three months, outperforming the Zacks Medical Products industry, which has gained +0.3% over the same period. Ahead of Abbott's third-quarter 2017 earnings result, the Zacks analyst likes the promising full year guidance which is indicative of brighter prospects ahead. In fact, the strong guidance is backed by the company's expectations to gain more synergies from the St. Jude merger.

Overall, Abbott's plan to expand in core therapeutic areas is cause for encouragement. Recently, the company's FreeStyle Libre Flash received the FDA approval. Also, the company has received FDA approval for magnetic resonance-conditional labeling for its Ellipse implantable cardioverter defibrillator recently.

On the flip side, Abbott's sluggish pediatric business in China continues to dent growth. Management is also concerned about the economic problems in Venezuela that are expected to remain unresolved for some time.

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

Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include United Technologies (NYSE: UTX - Free Report ) and VMWare (NYSE: VMW - Free Report ).

5 Trades Could Profit "Big-League" from Trump Policies

If the stocks above spark your interest, wait until you look into companies primed to make substantial gains from Washington's changing course.

Today Zacks reveals 5 tickers that could benefit from new trends like streamlined drug approvals, tariffs, lower taxes, higher interest rates, and spending surges in defense and infrastructure.

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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 for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

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Abbott Laboratories (ABT): Free Stock Analysis Report

AbbVie Inc. (ABBV): Free Stock Analysis Report

Vmware, Inc. (VMW): Free Stock Analysis Report

United Technologies Corporation (UTX): Free Stock Analysis Report

American Express Company (AXP): Free Stock Analysis Report

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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.

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