For Immediate Release
Chicago, IL - March 12, 2018 - 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 Coca-Cola KO , Eli Lilly LLY , Occidental Petroleum OXY , Ross Stores ROST and Wynn Resorts WYNN .
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Here are highlights from Friday's Analyst Blog:
Top Stock Reports for Coca-Cola, Eli Lilly and Occidental
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 Coca-Cola, Eli Lilly and Occidental Petroleum. These research reports have been hand-picked from the roughly 70 reports published by our analyst team today.
Coca-Cola 's shares have underperformed the Zacks Soft Drinks Beverages industry in the last one year, (+5.1% vs. +6.6%). Coca-Cola reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter 2017 results, ending the year on an impressive note.
Despite reporting flat soda volumes, the cola giant gained from its growing beverage portfolio and re-structuring efforts. Organic revenues grew 6% with growth across the board, driven by price/mix growth of 4% and concentrate sales growth of 1%. Again, lower SG&A expenses (down 21%), higher gross margin (up 480 basis points or bps) and higher operating margin (up 540 bps) helped it come up with better numbers.
However, total sales decreased 20%, marking the 11th consecutive quarterly decline in revenues. Although top line needs to show sustained improvement, the Zacks analyst is encouraged by the company's strategic efforts in making its portfolio much like that of a total beverage company with improved marketing and innovation, focus on driving revenues by improved price/mix, digital focus, and productivity initiatives toward driving margins.
Eli Lilly 's shares have underperformed the Zacks Large-Cap Pharmaceuticals industry in the last one year (down -6.5% vs. +8.9%). Lilly's new products like Trulicity, Taltz, Basaglar, Cyramza, Jardiance and Lartruvo have been driving revenues and the trend is expected to continue in 2018.
Lilly expects to launch 20 new products between 2014 and 2023, including at least two new indications/line extensions on an average every year. The decision to sell or spin-off the Animal Health segment, which has underperformed in 2017, is a prudent decision, according to the Zacks analyst. Also, competitive pressure on Lilly's drugs is expected to rise this year.
Meanwhile, challenges remain for the company in the form of loss of patent exclusivity for products like Cialis and the impact of generic competition for Strattera, Effient and Axiron. U.S. pricing access pressure will also remain a headwind in 2018.
Strong Buy-ranked Occidental Petroleum 's shares have underperformed the Zacks Domestic Integrated Oil industry over the last six months, gaining +4.2% vs. +11.5%. However, Occidental Petroleum's fourth-quarter earnings per share and total revenues both came in above expectations.
As oil prices continue to improve, Occidental Petroleum gains from more oil production in the Permian Resources and concentrating on high-margin production region. The ongoing capital investment fundamental strength of the company will help it overcome the adverse impact from natural disasters.
The company generates stable cash flow and its Chemical plant will further improve its cash flow. Occidental Petroleum, like other oil and natural gas companies, faces the risks of cost overruns and development interruptions due to delays in drilling and other approvals, property or border disputes and equipment failures.
Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Ross Stores and Wynn Resorts.
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About Zacks Equity Research
Zacks Equity Research provides the best of quantitative and qualitative analysis to help investors know what stocks to buy and which to sell for the long-term.
Continuous coverage is provided for a universe of 1,150 publicly traded stocks. Our analysts are organized by industry which gives them keen insights to developments that affect company profits and stock performance. Recommendations and target prices are six-month time horizons.
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