The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Johnson & Johnson, Biogen, Celgene and Bristol-Myers Squibb

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL - January 26, 2017 - 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 Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ - Free Report ), Biogen Inc. (NASDAQ: BIIB - Free Report ), Celgene Corporation (NASDAQ: CELG - Free Report ) and Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE: BMY - Free Report ).

Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of the Day pick for free.

Here are highlights from Wednesday's Analyst Blog:

Drug Stock Earnings to Watch for Thursday

Investors around the world are seeing a ray of hope as the fourth-quarter earnings season kicked off on an encouraging note. Both earnings and sales growth in Q4 are tracking above other recent periods and on track to reach the highest level in the last eight quarters.

With Q4 earnings underway, approximately 63 S&P 500 members (representing 19.2% of the index's total market capitalization) have already reported quarterly results as of Jan 20. An impressive 66.7% of these companies managed to post an earnings beat, while 50.8% recorded better-than-expected sales.

The pace of growth is anticipated to improve steadily this earnings season. As per the Earnings Preview , earnings for the S&P 500 companies are on track to grow 4.8% in Q4 from the year-ago period on 3.7% higher revenues.

Meanwhile, a plethora of earnings reports are yet to come out with more than 300 companies including 105 S&P 500 members due to report this week. This should add more clarity to the overall earnings picture.

What's in Store for the Medical Sector?

Medical is one of the sectors expected to perform well in the fourth quarter with earnings projected to grow 2.9% on revenue growth of 5.6%.

As of Jan 20, only 1.9% companies in the Medical sector have reported results, recording a blended beat of 100% (the percentage of companies that have beaten both earnings and revenue estimates). Overall, the sector has registered 51.1% earnings growth on 9% higher revenues.

Healthcare giant and industry bellwether, Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ - Free Report ) reported mixed fourth-quarter results with earnings beating estimates and sales missing the same. The company is currently looking for strategic options for its diabetes care division. (Read More: J&J Q4 Earnings Top; Seeks Options for Diabetes Unit ).

We note that the sector has faced challenging conditions for more than a year due to media and political focus on steep drug pricing issues. Against this backdrop, let's take a sneak peek into three companies in the medical sector that are scheduled to report fourth-quarter and full-year results on Jan 26.

What Await these Drug Stocks?

Multiple sclerosis (MS) market leader Biogen Inc. (NASDAQ: BIIB - Free Report ) is scheduled to release results before market open. Biogen has an impressive track record with the company consistently beating earnings expectations, thereby bringing the average earnings surprise to 8.15%. However, the company currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) and an Earnings ESP of -1.21%, making it difficult to conclusively predict an earnings beat this quarter. You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank stocks here .

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the quarter is pegged at $4.97 per share. In the upcoming earnings call, we expect investors focus to remain on Tecfidera's performance. Investor focus should also be on the company's update on commercialization plans for newly approved spinal muscular atrophy drug, Spinraza. (Read more: Biogen Q4 Earnings: What's in Store for the Stock? ).

Biotech company, Celgene Corporation (NASDAQ: CELG - Free Report ) will also be releasing its results before the opening bell. Celgene has an impressive track record, having surpassed earnings expectations in three of the last four quarters, with an average positive surprise of 4.94%. This Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock currently has an ESP of 0.00% for Q4, thereby making it difficult to predict a positive surprise. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they're reported with our Earnings ESP Filter .

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the quarter is pegged at $1.43 per share. Celgene's key product, Revlimid, will continue to act as the key growth driver, contributing significantly to the company's top line. Apart from Revlimid, performance of other drugs - Pomalyst/Imnovid, Otezla and Abraxane - will also be in focus. (Read more: Celgene Q4 Earnings: Will the Stock Pull a Surprise? ).

Large-cap pharma stock, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE: BMY - Free Report ) is scheduled to report results before market opens. Bristol-Myers has an impressive track record with the company consistently beating earnings expectations in each of the last four quarters. The company has an average positive earnings surprise of 17.32%. Will this pharma giant be able to keep its earnings streak alive? With a Zacks Rank #3 stock and an Earnings ESP of -3.03%, we are not sure if the company can beat on earnings this quarter.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the quarter is pegged at 66 cents per share. Investor focus will be on the performance of key products including high-profile immuno-oncology drug, Opdivo. The HIV and HCV franchises are expected to remain under competitive pressure. (Read more: Bristol-Myers Q4 Earnings: Will the Stock Disappoint? ).

Stay tuned! Check later on our full write-up on earnings releases of these stocks.

Zacks' Top 10 Stocks for 2017

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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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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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Johnson & Johnson (JNJ): Free Stock Analysis Report

Biogen Inc. (BIIB): Free Stock Analysis Report

Celgene Corporation (CELG): Free Stock Analysis Report

Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (BMY): 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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