Wednesday, August 26, 2020
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 Amazon.com (AMZN), Mastercard (MA) and AstraZeneca (AZN). These research reports have been hand-picked from the roughly 70 reports published by our analyst team today.
Amazon was star performer even prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, but the work-from-home environment in the post-pandemic period has been tailor made for the company. This is reflected in the stock's outsized year-to-date performance (up +81.1% vs. +6.9% for the broader market), a trend that the Zacks analyst sees as sustainable given the company's online standing and position in the cloud computing space.
Additionally, solid Prime momentum owing to ultrafast delivery services and expanding content portfolio remained tailwind. Further, strengthening AWS services and its growing adoption rate contributed well. Additionally, improving Alexa skills and features remained a major positive.
Expanding smart home products offerings were tailwinds. However, accelerating coronavirus related expenses remain major concerns. Also, foreign exchange headwinds and rising cloud competition are risks.
Shares of Mastercard have gained +21.6% over the past six months against the Zacks Financial Transaction Services industry’s rise of +10.8%. The Zacks analyst believes that Mastercard’s strategic acquisitions, alliances and technology upgrades, along with product-diversification and geographic-expansion initiatives will augur well in the long term.
The company has undertaken several acquisitions to supplement organic efforts and diversify revenues over the years, which has helped expand its addressable markets and strengthen core product solutions. Investment in technology keeps it at the forefront of the rapidly-evolving payments industry.
It is also witnessing buoyant demand for its Data & Analytics and Cyber solutions. Its solid capital position enables investment in business. Also, its second-quarter earnings beat estimates on decreased rebates and incentives. However, escalating costs might put pressure on the company’s margins. It also cancelled its annual 2020 outlook for net revenues and operating expense due to coronavirus-induced business loss.
AstraZeneca shares have gained +8.7% over the past three months against the Zacks Large Cap Pharmaceuticals industry’s rise of +5.3%. The Zacks analyst believes that AstraZeneca’s newer drugs, mainly cancer medicines Lynparza, Tagrisso and Imfinzi should keep driving revenues in 2020.
Its pipeline is strong with abundance of catalysts lined up for 2020 including data on COVID-19 vaccine candidate, AZD1222. AstraZeneca has also engaged in external acquisitions and strategic collaborations to boost its pipeline while investing in geographic areas of high growth like China. Cost-cutting efforts should drive earnings.
However, its products like Nexium, Crestor and Seroquel are facing generic competition, which is hurting sales. The diabetes franchise also faces stiff competition while pricing pressure is hurting sales in the respiratory unit.
Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include NextEra Energy (NEE), Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A) and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD).
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Today's Must Read
Per the Zacks analyst, NextEra's planned investment in the range of $50 to $55B through 2022 to enhance clean electricity generation and strengthen its infrastructure will boost its profitability.
The Zacks analyst believes that Shell's position as a major supplier of liquefied natural gas should help it benefit its long-term cash flow growth on the back of attractive growth opportunities.
Per the Zacks analyst, Advanced Micro Devices is benefiting from the strong adoption of the latest 7 nm based EYPC and Ryzen processors.
Per the Zacks analyst, enhanced customer experience and digitalization bode well for Starbucks.
Per the Zacks analyst, Duke Energy invests heftily that will expand its scale of operations thereby boosting growth.
Per the Zacks analyst, Itau Unibanco's aim to globalize and focus on less risky products support growth. Yet, investment in digitalization and efforts to enhance customer satisfaction keep costs high.
Per the Zacks Analyst, ICICI Bank remains well poised for growth with increase in domestic loans and a stable funding base. Yet, credit quality woes amid the pandemic and rising expenses are concerns.
With a solid Returns-Focused Growth plan and strong housing fundamental, KB Home's revenues and operating margin are expected to improve in 2020 and beyond, per the Zacks analyst.
Per the Zacks analyst, Foot Locker's focus on digitization has been aiding top-line growth. Management is on track with improving mobile and web platforms as well as data analytics capabilities.
The Zacks analyst believes that strength in Utility market and healthy relationships with public power, utility and non-residential clients is helping WESCO win contracts.
Per the Zacks analyst, near-zero interest rates will likely hurt State Street's top line to some extent in the near term. Also, higher restructuring and compensation-related costs might curb profits.
The Zacks analyst is worried about the coronavirus-induced shrinking passenger revenues. Depreciation of the Brazilian real against the US dollar is another concern for the company.
Per the Zacks analyst, Rite Aid's performance is likely to be hurt by adverse impacts on acute prescription volumes, SG&A expenses and Pharmacy Services Segment memberships in the quarters ahead.
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Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDS.A): Free Stock Analysis Report
NextEra Energy, Inc. (NEE): Free Stock Analysis Report
Mastercard Incorporated (MA): Free Stock Analysis Report
AstraZeneca PLC (AZN): Free Stock Analysis Report
Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN): Free Stock Analysis Report
Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD): Free Stock Analysis Report
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Zacks Investment Research
The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.