Top Research Reports for Apple, Procter & Gamble & Citigroup

Thursday, August 2, 2018

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 Apple (AAPL), Procter & Gamble (PG) and Citigroup (C). These research reports have been hand-picked from the roughly 70 reports published by our analyst team today.

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

Buy-ranked Apple 's shares have outperformed the Zacks Computer - Mini computers industry in the last six months, gaining +28.7% vs. +28.3%. The company reported impressive third-quarter fiscal 2018 results driven by robust iPhone sales as well as continued momentum in the Services segment. Higher ASP drove iPhone results in the quarter.

The Services segment has become the new cash cow Apple and is expected to grow strongly driven by increasing adoption of Apple Music & Apple Pay. Going ahead, we believe Apple's foray into fast-growing technologies like autonomous vehicle, artificial intelligence (AI) & AR/VR will drive growth. Shares have outperformed the industry on a year-to-date basis.

Nevertheless, significant competition in most of its operating markets and strong demand for feature-rich smartphones at a much cheaper price are major headwinds for the company.

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

Shares of Procter & Gamble have gained +13.0% in the last three months, outperforming the Zacks Soap and Cleaning Materials industry, which gained +9.1% over the same period. The company posted its 13th consecutive earnings beat in fourth-quarter fiscal 2018.

The company's focus on product improvement, packaging and marketing initiatives, and productivity cost-savings plan bodes well. Further, it is benefiting from higher demand for skincare products, along with fabric and home care products.

However, the company is witnessing strained margins owing to increased commodity and shipping costs, adverse currency, higher business investments and aggressive pricing from private-label products amid intense competition. Moreover, sales remain muted due to weak demand and lower prices. While the company expects recently announced price increases to help rebound sales and margins, analysts' fear of impacts on demand and consumption.

(You can read the full research report on Procter & Gamble here >>> ).

Citigroup 's shares have underperformed the Zacks Banks - Major Regional industry over the last six months (-1.9% vs. 1%). Further, the company possesses an impressive earnings surprise history, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate in all the trailing four quarters. The company's second-quarter 2018 earnings reflected high revenues, along with loan growth. Moreover, controlled expenses were experienced.

The Zacks analyst believes that the company's restructuring and streamlining efforts, strategic investments in core business, lower tax rate and expense management will likely support profitability. Recently, the capital plan approval reflects strong capital position. Yet several issues, including litigation burden, keep us apprehensive. Also, despite rising rates, margin remains under pressure, due to persistent decline in the company's legacy holdings portfolio.

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

Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Petrobras (PBR), Fiserv (FISV) and Aflac (AFL).

Today's Stocks from Zacks' Hottest Strategies

It's hard to believe, even for us at Zacks. But while the market gained +21.9% in 2017, our top stock-picking screens have returned +115.0%, +109.3%, +104.9%, +98.6%, and +67.1%.

And this outperformance has not just been a recent phenomenon. Over the years it has been remarkably consistent. From 2000 - 2017, the composite yearly average gain for these strategies has beaten the market more than 19X over. Maybe even more remarkable is the fact that we're willing to share their latest stocks with you without cost or obligation.

See Them Free>>

Note: 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

Robust iPhone ASP, Services Strength Drives Apple (AAPL)

P&G's (PG) Productivity & Cost Saving Plan Aids Bottom Line

Focus on Core Operations Aid Citigroup (C), Legal Woe Linger

Featured Reports

Series 6 Modules to Aid First Solar (FSLR) Amid Rising Cost

Per the Zacks analyst, First Solar's transition toward the technologically advanced Series 6 modules should bolster the company. Yet, it is incurring high production start-up cost for this.

High Demand, Pricing Realization Aid CNH Industrial (CNHI)

Per the Zacks analyst, rising demand for its products across all segments along with positive price realization are driving CNH Industrial's industrial sales.

Fiserv (FISV) Rides on Strategic Moves, Debt Woes Remain

The Zacks analyst is impressed with Fiserv's strategy to widen its client base and enhance its product portfolio with the help of buyouts and partnerships. However, high debt remains a major concern.

Xylem (XYL) Grows on Solid End-Market Sales Amid Cost Woes

Per the Zacks Analyst, solid utility, commercial and industrial end-market sales, and operational efficacy will boost Xylem's profits. However, material cost inflation remains a major drag.

Strong Balance Sheet, U.S. Segment Aid Growth at Aflac (AFL)

Per the Zacks analyst, increasing revenues at Aflac's U.S Business from past several years has driven its top line.

Higher Repair & Remodeling Activity Bodes Well For Masco (MAS)

The Zacks analyst stresses, increased repair and remodeling activity have been driving Masco's revenues over the last few quarters.

High Industrial Property Demand to Aid Duke Realty (DRE)

Per the Zacks Analyst, Duke Realty is well poised to benefit from high demand for industrial real estate space.

New Upgrades

Vertex's (VRTX) New Cystic Fibrosis Drug Symdeko Impresses

Vertex Pharma's latest CF medicine, Symdeko, a tezacaftor/ivacaftor combo is off to a strong start. The Zacks analyst believes Symdeko will be a significant contributor to sales growth in 2018.

Catalyst Uptake Remains Strong at IDEXX (IDXX), Drives CAG

Per the Zacks analyst, the solid organic growth trend within IDEXX's Companion Animal Group (CAG) revenues will sustain on strong global placement of high-premium Catalyst instruments.

Pre-Salt Reservoirs to Boost Petrobras' (PBR) Production

Petrobras' enviable holdings in Brazil's huge oil reserves along with ambitious five-year plan to boost the average output by 31.5% through 2022 make the Zacks analyst turn bullish on the stock.

New Downgrades

Cracker Barrel (CBRL) Margins Hurt by Rising Expenses

Per the Zacks analyst, high labor costs, inflationary pressure, costs from sales building and opening of new units are expected to weigh on the Cracker Barrel's margins.

Dull Medication Adherence & Rising Costs Ail Omnicell (OMCL)

The Zacks analyst worries about Omnicell's dull medication adherence business show on unfavorable timing of large robot sales.

China Exposure & Market Downturn to Hurt IPG Photonics (IPGP)

Per the Zacks analyst, IPG Photonics' significant exposure to the materials processing markets, dependency on few customers and substantial China exposure are key negatives.

Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report

Procter & Gamble Company (The) (PG): Free Stock Analysis Report

Petroleo Brasileiro S.A.- Petrobras (PBR): Free Stock Analysis Report

Fiserv, Inc. (FISV): Free Stock Analysis Report

Citigroup Inc. (C): Free Stock Analysis Report

Aflac Incorporated (AFL): Free Stock Analysis Report

Apple Inc. (AAPL): Free Stock Analysis Report

To read this article on Zacks.com click here.

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.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

More Related Articles

Sign up for Smart Investing to get the latest news, strategies and tips to help you invest smarter.