The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Nike, 3M, Vertex, PepsiCo and Verisk

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL -February 22, 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: NikeNKE , 3MMMM , VertexVRTX , PepsiCoPEP and VeriskVRSK .

Here are highlights from Thursday's Analyst Blog:

Top Stock Reports for Nike, 3M and Vertex

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 Nike, 3M and Vertex. 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 Nike 's shares have gained +26.5% in the past year, outperforming the Zacks Shoes and Retail Apparel industry, which gained +19.9% over the same period, driven by a strong earnings trend stemming from the solid execution of Consumer Direct Offense. Nike has delivered positive earnings surprise for over three years now, with second-quarter fiscal 2019 marking 26th straight quarter o f earnings beat.

Moreover, sales topped estimates for the seventh straight quarter. The Zacks analyst thinks strong progress on Consumer Direct Offense through innovation and focus on direct-to-customer are the key drivers. Growth at international and Nike Direct businesses alongside momentum in North America also aided fiscal second quarter results.

Continued strength in Nike Digital is driving the top line. However, higher SG&A expenses due to increased demand creation expense and operating overheads are likely to remain a drag. Further, the unfavorable currency environment due to the global trade and geopolitical dynamics is likely to weigh on the company's sales.

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

Shares of 3M have lost +5% in the past three months, underperforming the Zacks Diversified Operations industry, which has gained +8.7% over the same period. The Zacks analyst thinks 3M stands to gain from efforts to innovate products, solid demand and portfolio restructuring moves. Its acquisition of the technology business of M*Modal is likely to strengthen the Health Information Systems business in the months ahead.

In the fourth quarter of 2018, the company's earnings and revenues surpassed estimates. However, on a year-over-year basis, net sales declined 0.6% due to the impact of divestiture and forex woes.

For 2019, the company lowered its earnings projection and net sales growth guidance. Foreign currency translation is predicted to adversely influence sales by 1%. In addition, inflation in prices of major inputs and rising competitive pressures pose threats to near-term profitability. Shares also look comparatively overvalued.

(You can read the full research report on 3M here >>> ).

Vertex 's shares have outperformed the Zacks Biomedical and Genetics industry in the past year (+19.2% vs. -15.9%). Vertex beat estimates for both earnings and sales in the fourth quarter. The Zacks analyst likes Vertex's dominance in the CF market. A significant increase in the eligible patient population for its CF drugs is driving sales growth.

Vertex's third CF medicine, Symdeko, in a very short time, became the primary driver of the significant growth in CF revenues in 2018. Vertex's CF pipeline is also accelerating rapidly. Studies on Vertex's triple combination CF regimens are moving fast. The CF triple-pill regimes are crucial for long-term growth as these have the potential to treat up to 90% of CF patients.

Meanwhile, Vertex's non-CF pipeline, though early stage, looks interesting. However, competitive pressure is rising in the CF market with many other companies developing triple combo CF drugs. Also, Vertex's dependence on just the CF franchise for growth is a concern.

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

Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include PepsiCo and Verisk.

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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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Verisk Analytics, Inc. (VRSK): Free Stock Analysis Report

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

3M Company (MMM): Free Stock Analysis Report

Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (VRTX): Free Stock Analysis Report

NIKE, Inc. (NKE): 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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