Technology

The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Netflix, Comcast, Facebook and Starbucks

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL –April 1, 2019 – Zacks.com 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: Netflix NFLX, Comcast CMCSA, Facebook FB and Starbucks SBUX.

Here are highlights from Friday’s Analyst Blog:

3 Blue Chip Stocks to Buy Right Now

The S&P 500 has climbed roughly 12% in 2019, driven by growth from tech giants such as Netflix. With that said, no matter how long the current rally lasts, it is always a good idea to search for strong companies that look poised to run impressive businesses for years to come. Therefore, we have highlighted three large-cap giants that look like buys at the moment.

Comcast

Comcast is coming off a better-than-expected Q4 and recently introduced an Apple TV-style streaming box that targets cord-cutters. Along with the new Xfinity Flex, Comcast’s NBCUniversal unit plans to launch a free, ad-supported streaming service early next year. Investors should also note CMCSA’s cable revenue climbed 5.2% last quarter and it lost fewer subscribers than it did in the year-ago period. And Comcast’s internet business looks poised to expand no matter what happens because streaming platforms need fast Wi-Fi and internet.

Plus, Comcast’s Xfinity Mobile wireless business has expanded. Looking ahead, Comcast’s first quarter 2019 revenue is projected to jump nearly 20% to $27.32 billion, based on our current Zacks Consensus Estimate. CMCSA’s full-year revenues are projected to pop 19% to reach $112.41 billion, boosted by its Sky PLC acquisition. Meanwhile, its adjusted full-year EPS figure is expected to climb 7.8%, with 2020’s earnings projected to jump roughly 11% above our current year estimate.

Shares of Comcast have surged nearly 17% this year, to outpace the S&P’s 12% climb and the broader media market’s average. The positivity has helped CMCSA stock hit new 52-week highs recently. Yet the company is still trading at 14.3X forward Zacks earnings estimates at the moment, which falls below the Media Market’s 18.1X average, the S&P’s 16.7X, and its own five-year high 20.3X and 16.9X median. Comcast is currently a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) based on its recent positive earnings estimate revision trends. Comcast also raised its dividend by 10% to $0.84 a share on an annualized basis for 2019.

Facebook

Facebook’s 2018 setbacks have been well documented. Still, Facebook’s global monthly active user total climbed 9% in Q4 to reach 2.32 billion. The firm has also seen its Instagram platform become more popular and Mark Zuckerberg recently detailed plans about how Facebook could start to focus on private encrypted messaging, payments, and other services in a move that would see it transition toward Tencent’s WeChat model. Plus, shares of FB have jump over 26% this year, with miles still to run before reaching its 52-week high.

Looking ahead, Facebook’s Q1 revenues are projected to jump 25% to reach $14.96 billion, with fiscal 2019’s top-line expected to expand by over 23%. Peeking even further ahead, FB’s adjusted 2020 earnings are projected to climb 17% on the back of 20.6% revenue growth. This would clearly mark a slowdown from 2018’s 37% revenue growth. But investors should remember that last year already represented a major downturn from 2017’s 47 % revenue growth, which is often the case when you reach Facebook’s heights.

Facebook’s recent impressive full-year fiscal 2019 and 2020 earnings estimate revision activity helps FB land a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Maybe more importantly, FB could be poised to remain strong over the long-haul with Facebook’s share of the U.S. digital ad market expected to climb to 22.1% this year, according to eMarketer—behind only Google’s 40%. Lastly, FB is trading at 21.2X 12-month Zacks Consensus EPS estimate. This comes in well below its three-year high of 44.3X and its three-year median of 27.7X, and helps show that Facebook’s valuation picture has greatly improved.

Starbucks   

SBUX stock hit a brand new high of $74.34 per share on Friday and the coffee powerhouse’s stock price is up over 15% in 2019. Starbucks also reported stronger-than-expected results last quarter. The company was able to maintain some growth in China, with its same-store sales up 1% in the world’s second-largest economy amid the broader economic slowdown that hurt the likes of Apple, helped by partnerships with the likes of Alibaba. Meanwhile, Starbucks rewards members jumped 14% to reach 16.3 million. This is a great sign since Starbucks rewards members account for 40% of the company’s daily transactions.

Starbucks will remain focused on its mobile ordering and digital initiatives as the industry continues to trend in that direction. The company has also rolled out expand delivery offerings across the U.S. with UberEats to help it better compete with rivals like Dunkin' and McDonald's. Peeking ahead, SBUX’s Q2 revenues are projected to pop 4.54% to reach $6.31 billion, with its full-year 2019 revenues projected to climb 6.3%. Investors should also be happy to see that Starbucks’ full-year 2020 revenues are expected to surge 7.6% above our 2019 estimate in a sign of continued strength.

At the bottom end of the income statement, Starbucks’ adjusted Q2 earnings are projected to climb 5.66% and its full-year earnings are expected to surge 12.4%. Double-digit bottom line growth is also expected in 2020. Starbucks’ positive longer-term earnings estimate revision activity helps it earn a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) right now. And its valuation picture is hardly stretched compared to where it has traded during the last five years. Let’s also not forget that Starbucks is a dividend payer that has raised its quarterly payout by 125% since 2015, and currently has a yield of 1.95%.

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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 http://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.


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