The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Facebook, UPS, PepsiCo, Costco and NextEra

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL - December 13, 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 FacebookFB , UPSUPS , PepsiCoPEP , CostcoCOST and NextEraNEE .

Here are highlights from Tuesday's Analyst Blog:

Top Stock Reports for Facebook, UPS and Pepsico

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 Facebook, UPS and PepsiCo. These research reports have been hand-picked from the roughly 70 reports published by our analyst team today.

Facebook' s shares have outperformed the S&P 500 index over the past year, gaining +48.8% vs. +17.3%. Facebook's efforts in mobile and live videos continue to pay off in a big way. Instagram remains another important revenue stream. Apart from mobile and video, the monetization opportunities of the company's other subsidiaries - Messenger, WhatsApp and Oculus - and a huge user base/higher engagement levels are expected to drive growth going ahead.

Facebook is also dabbling in AR/VR and AI technologies, which bodes well for long-term growth. However, the recent uproar caused by apparent use of the platform by Russian elements for interfering in the presidential elections has put Facebook in a spot. As a result, Facebook CEO has said that it will make sizable investments to tighten security on the platform, which, along with continued investments in video, AR/VR and AI, will dent operating margins going forward.

Shares of UPS have underperformed the Zacks Air Freight and Cargo industry as well as rival FedEx on a year-to-date basis. While UPS has gained +2.9% of its value, the industry it belongs to and FedEx have rallied +11.6% and +28.1%, respectively, in the same period.

Moreover, the ongoing holiday season might prove to be a dampener for UPS due to the unprecedented surge in demand. Order volumes have surged courtesy the rapid e-commerce growth. UPS, however, is also leaving no stone unturned to meet the demand increase.

Despite its efforts, high delivery costs might hurt the company's fourth-quarter results. However, the Zacks analyst is encouraged by the company's efforts to reward shareholders through buybacks and dividend payments. The company's efforts to expand globally also raise optimism in the stock.

PepsiCo 's shares have gained +12.2% year to date, underperforming the Zacks Soft Beverages industry, which has increased +13.9% over the same period. PepsiCo has been doing well on the back of significant innovation, continued momentum in Frito-Lay business, revenue management strategies, improved productivity and cost-saving initiatives, along with better market execution.

An improving economy, better industry pricing dynamics and consistency in positive innovation bode well. It rolled out several products recently which management believes will drive sales and profits in 2017. That said, growing health awareness has been hurting the CSD category, resulting in a 4% volume decline in the first nine months of 2017 in North America. Again, rising volatility in global markets and increasing currency headwinds may dampen growth.

Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Costco and NextEra.

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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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NextEra Energy, Inc. (NEE): Free Stock Analysis Report

Facebook, Inc. (FB): Free Stock Analysis Report

Pepsico, Inc. (PEP): Free Stock Analysis Report

Costco Wholesale Corporation (COST): Free Stock Analysis Report

United Parcel Service, Inc. (UPS): 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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