Top Analyst Reports: Mastercard, AbbVie, Twenty-First Century Fox & More

Monday, August 13, 2018

The Zacks Research Daily presents the best research output of our analyst team. Today's Research Daily features updated research reports on 16 major stocks, including Mastercard (MA), AbbVie (ABBV) and Twenty-First Century Fox (FOXA). These research reports have been hand-picked from roughly 70 reports published by our analyst team today.

You can see all of today's research reports here >>>

Mastercard 's shares have increased +54.5% over the past year, significantly outperforming the Zacks Financial Transaction Services industry's rally of +32.8%. The company's earnings beat expectations and grew year over year. Strong results were primarily aided by higher switched transactions, increase in cross-border and gross dollar volume, and gains from acquisitions. An increase in rebates and incentives was a partial dampener. The Zacks analyst thinks the company is poised for growth, given its solid market position, ongoing expansion and digital initiatives plus significant opportunities from the secular shift toward electronic payments. The buyouts of VocaLink and NuData Security complement efforts to participate in new payment flows, and enhance safety and security offerings. Consensus estimates for the company's 2018 and 2019 earnings have been revised upward over the last 30 days. However, escalating costs, and higher incentives and rewards could keep its bottom line under pressure.

(You can read the full research report on Mastercard here >>> ).

Shares of AbbVie have lost -1% year to date versus the Zacks Large Cap Pharmaceuticals industry's rally of +2.4%. However, AbbVie beat estimates for earnings and sales in the second quarter. It also raised its earnings expectations for 2018 for the third time this year. AbbVie's key drug, Humira has been performing well based on strong demand trends despite new competition. Moreover, Imbruvica has multibillion dollar potential and AbbVie is exploring the possibility of label expansion into solid tumors and autoimmune diseases. Mavyret's launch has also been stronger than expected. Moreover, AbbVie has an impressive late-stage pipeline with launch of several products with multibillion-dollar potential expected in the near term. AbbVie expects to launch more than 20 new products or line extensions of marketed drugs before Humira biosimilar competition begins in the United States in 2023. The Zacks analyst expects the potential biosimilar competition to Humira in Europe this year to be an overhang.

(You can read the full research report on AbbVie here >>> ).

Twenty-First Century Fox 's shares have increased +31.7% year to date, outperforming the Zacks Film and Television industry's rally of +19.7%. Twenty-First Century Fox's top and bottom line for fourth-quarter fiscal 2018 increased substantially year over year. The impressive top-line growth was primarily attributable to increasing affiliate and advertising revenues from the Cable Network Programming and Television segments as well as improving content revenues at the Filmed Entertainment segment. The company continues to benefit from rise in retransmission and robust advertising demand for its live content and entertainment product. However, increasing expenses in the Cable Networking Programming and the Television segment is a headwind. Additionally, the company recently announced an "increased recommended pre-conditional cash" offer for Sky in an aim to compete with Comcast. The Zacks analyst thinks a prolonged fight over Sky can dampen Fox's growth prospects.

(You can read the full research report on Twenty-First Century Fox here >>> ).

Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Schwab (SCHW), Fortive (FTV) and Alexion Pharmaceuticals (ALXN).

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Note: Our Director of Research Sheraz Mian heads the Zacks Equity Research department and is a well-regarded expert of aggregate earnings. He is frequently quoted in the print and electronic media and publishes the weekly Earnings Trendsand Earnings Previewreports. If you want an email notification each time Sheraz publishes a new article, please click here>>>

Today's Must Read

Revenue Growth, Solid Balance Sheet Aid Mastercard (MA)

AbbVie's (ABBV) Humira & Mavyret Aid Sales Amid Competition

Advertising Growth Benefits Twenty-First Century Fox (FOXA)

Featured Reports

Trading Focus, Higher Rates Aid Schwab (SCHW), Costs a Woe

The Zacks analyst believes that Schwab's efforts to improve trading revenues and higher interest rates will continue to support revenues. However, mounting expenses remains a major near-term concern.

Fortive (FTV) Rides on Acquisition Benefits, Risk Remains

Per the Zacks analyst, Fortive's acquisitions of eMaint and Industrial Scientific continue to drive its top-line growth by aiding its segmental performance. But, integration issues remain concerns.

Asset Sale Aid Boston Properties (BXP), Cost Overruns Linger

Per the Zacks analyst, sale of non-core assets amid a lucrative pricing environment aids Boston Properties.

Alexion's (ALXN) Soliris Fuels Growth, Overdependence Worrying

Per the Zacks analyst, Alexion's Soliris continues to perform well. The approval for the generalized myasthenia gravis indication has also boosted sales.

Interest Income and Acquisitions Aid M&T Bank (MTB) Revenue

Per the Zacks analyst, rising rates remained a key strength at M&T Bank, as reflected by rising interest income aiding revenue growth.

Exploration Progress, Debt Reduction to Aid Freeport (FCX)

Per the Zacks analyst, Freeport should gain from its progress in exploration activities to expand production capacity and efforts to deleverage balance sheet amid rising cash costs in North America.

Investments, Growth in U.S. Operations Aid PPL Corp. (PPL)

The Zacks analyst believes PPL Corp.'s plan to invest $15.41B in the 2018-2022-time frame to strengthen infrastructure and growth in domestic operations will drive its performance.

New Upgrades

Strong Growth Of Inomax and Ofirmev Fuel Mallinckrodt (MNK)

Per the Zacks analyst, the hospital franchise has gained traction and will boost Mallinckrodt's growth prospects. The Sucampo buyout will diversify the portfolio considering Amitiza's potential.

Applied Industrial (AIT) Gains From FCX Buyout & Stellar Sales

Per the Zacks analyst, robust revenues, benefits of FCX Performance acquisition and its margin-improvement moves will boost Applied Industrial's profitability in the quarters ahead.

Assurant (AIZ) Continues to Gain from Increasing Premiums

Per the Zacks analyst, improving premiums, mainly driven by premium growth across segments, continue to boost Assurant's top line, thereby resulting in the company's overall growth.

New Downgrades

ZTO Express (ZTO) Stung by High Operating Expenses

The Zacks analyst is concerned about the high operating expenses which are hurting the company's bottom line. Sharp rise in SG&A expenses are leading to the increase in total costs.

Shareowner Activism & Online Sales Hit Taubman Centers (TCO)

Per the Zacks analyst, Taubman Centers' near-term performance will be dampened by store closures and retailer bankruptcies. Further, shareowner activism is expected to escalate its expenses.

Increasing Commodity Costs Continue to Hurt EnerSys (ENS)

Per the Zacks analyst, EnerSys' steady revenue growth and operational efficiencies are being dampened by a steep rise in commodity costs, which is hurting the company's bottom line.

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The Charles Schwab Corporation (SCHW): Free Stock Analysis Report

Mastercard Incorporated (MA): Free Stock Analysis Report

Fortive Corporation (FTV): Free Stock Analysis Report

Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc. (FOXA): Free Stock Analysis Report

Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (ALXN): Free Stock Analysis Report

AbbVie Inc. (ABBV): 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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