The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Eli Lilly, Anthem, BlackRock, CME Group and Southern Company

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL - December 10, 2018 - 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: Eli Lilly LLY , Anthem ANTM , BlackRock BLK , CME Group CME and Southern Company SO .

Here are highlights from Friday's Analyst Blog:

Top Stock Reports for Eli Lilly, Anthem & BlackRock

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 Eli Lilly, Anthem and BlackRock. 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 >>>

Buy-ranked Eli Lilly 's shares have gained +37.2% year to date, significantly outperforming the Zacks Large Cap Pharmaceuticals industry, which has gained +8.6% over the same period. The Zacks analyst thinks Lilly's new products like Trulicity, Taltz, Basaglar, Cyramza, Jardiance, Lartruvo and Verzenio will drive revenues.

Lilly expects to launch 20 new products by 2023, including at least two new indications/line extensions on average every year. Lilly is also having a strong year in terms of its pipeline with several positive late-stage data readouts and regulatory nods. The newly launched CGRP antibody, Emgality could emerge as a significant contributor to long-term growth.

It has also added promising new assets through business development deals. However, competitive pressure on Lilly's drugs is expected to rise this year. Challenges remain for the company in the form of generic competition for several drugs including Cialis and rising pricing pressure in the diabetes franchise.

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

Shares of Buy-ranked Anthem have outperformed the Zacks Medical Insurance industry's rally in the past year (up +27.8% vs. +23.1%). Moreover, it has witnessed its 2018 and 2019 earnings estimates move upward over the past 30days. The Zacks analyst likes the company's prudent acquisitions, an improving top line and divestitures.

A diverse product portfolio has also helped the company improve its underwriting results. Following the acquisition of America's 1st Choice and HealthSun Anthem, it emerged as the third largest Medicare Advantage plan in the fast-growing Florida market.

The company's strong capital position backs effective capital deployment via share buybacks and regular dividends. Lower membership and rising debt continue to be causes for concern.

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

BlackRock 's shares have declined 27.2% in the past six months, underperforming the Zacks Investment Management industry's loss of 22.4% during the same period. Yet, the company's earnings surpassed expectations in all of the trailing four quarters.

The Zacks analyst likes the initiatives the company is taking to restructure its actively managed equity business and expand globally via acquisitions to further boost the top line. Moreover, its efficient capita deployment activities will continue to enhance shareholder value.

However, mounting expenses, mainly due to continued rise in marketing costs, might hurt bottom-line growth to some extent. The company's high dependence on overseas revenues also remains a matter of concern.

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

Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include CME Group and Southern Company.

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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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Southern Company (The) (SO): Free Stock Analysis Report

Eli Lilly and Company (LLY): Free Stock Analysis Report

BlackRock, Inc. (BLK): Free Stock Analysis Report

Anthem, Inc. (ANTM): Free Stock Analysis Report

CME Group Inc. (CME): Free Stock Analysis Report

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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.

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