The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Phillip Morris, Bristol-Myers, Walgreens, Sirius and Total System


For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL –April 1, 2019 – 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: Phillip Morris PM, Bristol-Myers BMY, Walgreens Boots WBA, Sirius XM SIRI and Total System and Services TSS.

Here are highlights from Friday’s Analyst Blog:

Top Research Reports for Phillip Morris, Bristol Myers and Walgreens

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 Phillip Morris, Bristol-Myers and Walgreens Boots. 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 >>>

Phillip Morris' shares have gained +6.7% in the past six months, outperforming the Zacks Tobacco industry's decline of -2.4%. The Zacks analyst thinks the company is gaining from its strong pricing strategies. In fact, favorable pricing has played an important role in boosting revenues for a while.

Also, this drove the company’s performance in the fourth quarter of 2018, wherein it delivered the third and the fourth straight quarter of top- and bottom-line surprises, respectively. The company is also undertaking initiatives to strengthen RRPs, which are rapidly gaining market popularity. In fact, it has introduced new versions of IQOS to capture market share.

Additionally, the company provided a favorable view for 2019. However, Philip Morris is grappling with declines in total shipment volumes, stemming from weak cigarette sales. Stringent regulations on tobacco products have been marring cigarette industry volumes. Moreover, unfavorable currency movements are a viable threat.

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

Shares of Bristol-Myers have underperformed the Zacks Large Cap Pharmaceuticals industry in the past six months, losing -22.9% vs. +2.1%. Bristol-Myers' blockbuster immuno-oncology drug, Opdivo continues to perform well. The Zacks analyst thinks the approval of the drug for first-line RCC and adjuvant melanoma has boosted sales. Label expansion of other drugs like Sprycel and Empliciti should further drive the company’s performance.

In January, Bristol-Myers announced that it will acquire Celgene for an equity value of approximately $74 billion. While the acquisition will bolster the company’s portfolio, it is being opposed by a few shareholders, who believe that the deal is overpriced, significantly increasing shareholders’ risk.

Moreover, the company’s voluntary withdrawal of the sBLA seeking approval of Opdivo+Yervoy as a treatment for first-line NSCLC with tumor mutational burden greater or equal to 10 mutations/megabase was disappointing, given the market potential.

(You can read the full research report on Bristol-Myers here >>>).

Walgreens Boots’ shares have outperformed the Zacks Drug Stores industry over the past six months, losing -13.7% vs. -24.4%. The Zacks analyst thinks that within the Retail Pharmacy USA division, the company has been making solid progress with respect to boosting prescription volume. Walgreens Boots is launching a phase of transformational cost management to reduce margin pressure.

The company has been gaining from strategic tie-ups as well. Walgreens Boots’ recent alliance with Microsoft to use the Azure platform is a welcome move. The company’s deal with Alphabet’s life sciences and healthcare segment, Verily is another positive. The company’s decision to launch next-day prescription delivery service with FedEx provides further cause for optimism.

On the flip side, tough market conditions, particularly in retail, have been leading to sluggishness in Walgreens Boots' Retail Pharmacy International division. The ongoing generic drug inflation is hurting pharmacy margins as well.

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

Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Sirius XM and Total System Services.

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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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Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (BMY): Free Stock Analysis Report
Sirius XM Holdings Inc. (SIRI): Free Stock Analysis Report
Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (WBA): Free Stock Analysis Report
Philip Morris International Inc. (PM): Free Stock Analysis Report
Total System Services, Inc. (TSS): 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.


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