Top Research Reports: Amazon, Caterpillar, Vertex & More

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

The Zacks Research Daily presents the best research output of our analyst team. Today's Research Daily features updated research reports on 12 major stocks, including Amazon (AMZN), Caterpillar (CAT) and Vertex (VRTX). 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 >>>

Amazon’s shares have outperformed the broader market year to date (the stock is up +21.5% vs. the +15.4% increase for the S&P 500 as a whole). Amazon reported mixed second quarter results. While earnings missed estimates, revenues outpaced the same. However, the company exhibited year over year growth on both counts.

The Zacks analyst thinks Amazon benefited from its solid Prime momentum owing to robust grocery services and strong content portfolio. Also, Prime Free One Day service helped Amazon in gaining traction across customers. Strengthening AWS services and its growing adoption rate made strong contributions.

Additionally, improving Alexa skills and features remained a major positive. However, rising transportation costs related to its free one-day shipping service remained an overhang. Transportation costs are expected to increase further. Also, Amazon expects foreign exchange headwinds to continue impacting its top line.

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

Shares of Caterpillar have outperformed the Zacks Construction and Mining industry (-9.8% vs. -11.8%) in the past year. Caterpillar reported global retail sales growth of 4% for the three-month period ended July 2019, the lowest so far this year. Further, the metric was at a level last seen in 2017.

The global machine sales growth rate has been on a downward spiral over the past few months, which is a concern, per the Zacks analyst. The company anticipates earnings per share at the lower end of its guidance of $12.06-$13.06 for 2019 and expects modest sales growth for the year.

In the Construction Industries segment, North America will aid growth while China will be a headwind. Improving commodity prices will support capital expenditure in the mining sector, which should drive performance of the Resource Industries segment. Investments in expanded offerings and services, and digital initiatives like e-commerce will also fuel growth. Its cost reduction efforts should help sustain margins despite material cost inflation.

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

Vertex’s shares have outperformed the Zacks Biomedical and Genetics industry year to date (+11% vs. -0.9%). Vertex beat estimates for both earnings and sales in the second quarter. The Zacks analyst thinks approval of its cystic fibrosis ('CF') drugs, Kalydeco and Orkambi, for new patient populations, is driving sales growth. Its third CF medicine, Symdeko, has become the main driver of CF revenues in a very short time.

Vertex rapidly advanced its triple combination CF regimens through late-stage development/regulatory filings. The regimens are crucial for long-term growth as these have the potential to treat up to 90% of CF patients. Meanwhile, Vertex’s non-CF pipeline, though early stage, looks interesting with several pipeline readouts expected in 2020-21.

However, competition is rising in the CF market with many companies developing triple combo CF drugs. Also, Vertex’s overdependence on the CF franchise for growth is a concern.

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

Other noteworthy reports we featured today include Kraft Heinz (KHC), Diamondback Energy (FANG) and Evergy (EVRG).

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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 Trends and Earnings Preview reports. If you want an email notification each time Sheraz publishes a new article, please click here>>>

Today's Must Read

Prime Momentum & Growing AWS Adoption Benefit Amazon (AMZN)

Caterpillar (CAT) Bets on Improving Demand Amid High Costs

Vertex's (VRTX) Cystic Fibrosis Sales Strong, Pipeline Solid

Featured Reports

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The Zacks analyst believes Diamondback's twin buys of Energen and Ajax Resources should bolster its Permian hold. However, the region's extremely low natural gas price is a concern.

Investments, Renewable Energy Focus Aid Evergy (EVRG)

Per the Zacks analyst, Evergy's $6 billion investment in the 2019-2023 period to strengthen its operations and plans to produce more electricity from renewable sources will boost its performance.

Cost Cuts Aid Old Dominion (ODFL) Amid Freight Weakness

The Zacks analyst is impressed with Old Dominion's efforts to check costs.

Continental (CLR) Banks on Oil-Rich Bakken Play, Debts High

While premium drilling positions in Bakken play will boost Continental's oil production, the company's levered balance sheet is a concern, per the Zacks analyst.

International Strength Drives Wayfair (W), Expenses Worrying

The Zacks analyst believes that Wayfair's strong retail business along with its efforts to expand in international markets are positives.

New Upgrades

Higher Las Vegas Demand Boosts Wynn Resorts (WYNN)

The Zacks analyst believes Wynn Resorts is likely to gain from increasing visitation pattern in Las Vegas. Revenues from Las Vegas operations rose 5.1% in second-quarter 2019.

Product Launches & Digitalization Aid CNH Industrial (CNHI)

Per the Zacks analyst, CNH Industrial is launching several products across segments to remain at par with advancements. It is also working towards digitalization, electrification and automation.

New Downgrades

Travel Ban to Cuba & High Costs Hurt Norwegian Cruise (NCLH)

The Zacks analyst thinks that Norwegian Cruise is bearing the brunt of high fuel and net cruise costs. Meanwhile, policy change on travel to Cuba is likely to have a negative impact on profits.

High Input Costs Weigh on Kraft Heinz's (KHC) Bottom Line

Kraft Heinz witnessed high fixed and supply chain costs, including packaging and logistics, in the first-half fiscal of 2019. Per the Zacks analyst, rising input costs are a threat to its bottom line.
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Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (VRTX): Free Stock Analysis Report
The Kraft Heinz Company (KHC): Free Stock Analysis Report
Diamondback Energy, Inc. (FANG): Free Stock Analysis Report
Evergy Inc. (EVRG): Free Stock Analysis Report
Caterpillar Inc. (CAT): Free Stock Analysis Report, Inc. (AMZN): 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.

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