Tuesday, January 31 2017
Today's Research Daily features new research reports on 16 major stocks, including Alphabet (GOOGL), Chevron (CVX) and Citigroup (C). You can see all of today's research reports here >>>
Buy rated Alphabet shares have lagged the broader market as well as the Zacks Tech sector over the past year (the stock is up +6.1% over the last 12 months vs. the +16.6% gain for the S&P 500 index), with the company's weaker than expected Q4 earnings report only adding to its underperformance. A big reason for the underperformance is uncertainty about the earnings potential of its non-core ventures. These headwinds aside, the Zacks analyst points out the company's good execution to date, more or less maintaining its dominant share in a competitive, fast-growing search market. The company's focus on innovation, strategic acquisitions and Android OS should continue to generate strong cash flows. However, the promise of Google's non-search businesses continue getting pushed into future even as the company's spending keeps rising. (You can read the full research report on Alphabet here >> )
Chevron shares have gained +31% over the last one year, outperforming the Zacks Oil & Gas-International Integrated industry which has gained +23.2% over the same time period, as well as rival Exxon Mobil. Chevron exited 2016 on a mixed note, swinging to a Q4 profit from a year-ago loss even as earnings fell far below estimates. Rebounding oil and gas prices, together with lower operating expenses helped the company report a quarterly profit. However, Chevron's refining business saw its income plunge on weak margins and maintenance costs. Importantly, despite being free-cash-flow negative, the deficit has narrowed considerably and Chevron is hoping to be cash flow neutral this year. Anticipated production growth from its extensive footprint in the Permian Basin is another positive. (You can read the full research report on Chevron here >> )
Citigroup shares have modestly underperformed the Zacks Major Banks industry over the last one year, gaining +33.3% vs +38.3%. Citigroup's fourth-quarter earnings exceeded expectations. Recently, Citigroup inked two deals to exit servicing operations by the end of 2018, in a bid to increase focus on mortgage originations through U.S. retail footprint. The deals are expected to negatively impact first-quarter 2017 pre-tax results by about $400 million. Stringent regulatory landscape across the industry and its litigation burden are other concerns. However, the analyst likes the company's restructuring and streamlining efforts, strategic investments in core business and expense management, which should support profitability, going forward. (You can read the full research report on Citigroup here >> )
Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Alibaba (BABA), Northrop Grumman (NOC) and Vertex (VRTX).
Zacks' Top 10 Stocks for 2017
In addition to the stocks discussed above, would you like to know about our 10 finest tickers for the entirety of 2017?
Who wouldn't? These 10 are painstakingly hand-picked from 4,400 companies covered by the Zacks Rank. They are our primary picks to buy and hold. Be among the very first to see them >>
Director of Research
Note: Note: Sheraz Mian regularly provides earnings analysis on Zacks.com and appears frequently in the print and electronic media. His weekly earnings related articles includeEarnings Trends andEarnings Preview. If you want an email notification each time Sheraz publishes a new article, pleaseclick here>>>
Today's Must Read
The Zacks analyst thinks sales and operating income growth drove Northrop's better-than-expected earnings expansion. Yet higher operating expenses partially marred the result.
The covering analyst thinks Twitter's user friendly changes to the platform and focus on "Live", are heading in the right direction but are proving to be heavily time consuming.
The Zacks analyst thinks SunTrust's Q4 earnings show that it is well positioned to benefit from improving interest rate scenario.
The covering analyst thinks that aided by increasing net inflows, Blackstone is expected to witness continued rise in assets under management.
The Zacks analyst is disappointed by the lower-than-expected earnings and revenues reported by the company in the fourth quarter.
Though pleased by the company's Q4 earnings beat, the dismal RASM outlook for the current month concerns the covering analyst.
The Zacks analyst believes that selection of Juniper's router by the Tokyo Stock Exchange is a big positive for the company and indicates towards growing demand for its technology.
With Alibaba delivering strong Q3 results, the Zacks analyst believes that solid growth in its core e-commerce business and growing cloud computing services will continue to expand profitability.
The covering analyst is bullish on C.R. Bard posting strong numbers in Q4 from a solid product portfolio. The company also gained prominence in the market on a series of regulatory approvals.
The Zacks analyst thinks Harman's performance continues to be buoyed by strong product portfolio and new customer wins. Plus, take over by Samsung, if materializes will be a big positive for Harman.
Vertex beat estimates for both earnings and sales in the fourth quarter. However, the Zacks analyst believes that the 2017 Orkambi revenue guidance is below expectations.
Though pleased by the company's Q4 outperformance, the dismal views for the first quarter and full-year 2017 concern the covering analyst. The year-over-year bottom line decline is also disappointing.
The Zacks analyst thinks despite Invesco's Q4 earnings beat, expectations of lower performance fees and other revenues in 2017 are likely to hamper overall revenue growth.
The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.