The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Turning Point Brands, Medifast, Emergent BioSolutions, Thermo Fisher Scientific and Sempra Energy

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – July 27, 2020 – 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: Turning Point Brands, Inc. TPB, Medifast, Inc. MED, Emergent BioSolutions Inc. EBS, Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. TMO and Sempra Energy SRE.

Here are highlights from Friday’s Analyst Blog:

Is Unemployment Going Back Up? 5 Stocks to Consider

On Jul 23, the DOW, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq closed 1.3%, 1.2% and 2.3% lower on an unprecedented rise in jobless claims after March 2020.

Per the Labor Department report, initial jobless claims rose to 1.416 million for the week ending Jul 18 versus the consensus estimate of 1.319 million. The reading for the week ending Jul 11 was also revised to 1.307 million from 1.300 million. Additionally, 974,999 people applied for jobless aid under a separate program. This temporary federal-relief program makes self-employed and gig workers eligible for jobless claims for the first time.

The rise in the number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits reflects the deepening economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic. In fact, the months of May and June witnessed sharp hiring gains as the economy started to reopen, only to be stalled by the spike in new cases.

Jobless claims rose across the states of Louisiana, California and Tennessee on the coronavirus resurgence. This forced administrations to put the reopening plans on hold and impose strict orders leading to the closure of some businesses for the second time and tighter restrictions on citizens.

So far, the United States has witnessed nearly 4.2 million coronavirus cases and the country has been reporting a staggering number of new cases per day. The spike is constantly building pressure on the job market as businesses stay closed and hiring is out of consideration.

5 Defensive Stocks to Buy

Investing in defensive stocks like utilities, healthcare and consumer staples can be beneficial in the current market scenario. These stocks provide stable returns regardless of market gyrations, leaving demand for these constant even during a pandemic or volatile geopolitical conditions. Defensive companies deal with essential items like food, medicines, water and electricity, and their requirements remain unchanged, even when the virus forces people to stay indoors.

The spike in unemployment claims and looming coronavirus fears have made markets volatile. Given the current market scenario, investors can consider defensive stocks that return well even during economic downturns. Here are our top five defensive stock picks --

Turning Point Brands, Inc. manufactures and markets tobacco and other related products. The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 12.9% compared with the Zacks Tobacco industry’s estimated earnings growth of 0.7%.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings has climbed 11.1% over the past 60 days. Turning Point Brands sports a Zacks Rank #1(Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Medifast, Inc. manufactures and distributes weight loss, weight management, healthy living products, and other consumable health and nutritional products. The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is nearly 19% compared with the Zacks Food - Miscellaneous industry’s estimated earnings growth of 5.3%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings has climbed 4.4% over the past 60 days. Medifast flaunts a Zacks Rank #1.

Emergent BioSolutions Inc. is a lifescience company that focuses on the provision of specialty products for the civilian and military population. The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 45.4% compared with the Zacks Medical - Biomedical and Genetics industry’s estimated earnings growth of 11.9%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings has climbed 34.7% over the past 60 days. Emergent BioSolutions sports a Zacks Rank #1.

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. provides analytical and other instruments, laboratory equipment, software, consumables, reagents, instrument systems, chemicals, supplies, and services. The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current quarter is 3.7% against the Zacks Medical - Instruments industry’s estimated earnings decline of 37.4%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings has climbed 7.6% over the past 60 days. Thermo Fisher flaunts a Zacks Rank #1.

Sempra Energy operates as an energy-services holding company. The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 9.7% against the Zacks Utility - Gas Distribution industry’s estimated earnings decline of 0.4%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings has climbed 2.9% over the past 60 days. Sempra Energy sports a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Zacks’ Single Best Pick to Double

From thousands of stocks, 5 Zacks experts each picked their favorite to gain +100% or more in months to come. From those 5, Zacks Director of Research, SherazMian hand-picks one to have the most explosive upside of all.

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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 information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

Click to get this free report

Sempra Energy (SRE): Free Stock Analysis Report

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. (TMO): Free Stock Analysis Report

Emergent Biosolutions Inc. (EBS): Free Stock Analysis Report

MEDIFAST INC (MED): Free Stock Analysis Report

Turning Point Brands, Inc. (TPB): Free Stock Analysis Report

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