Top Research Reports for Exxon, DuPont & HCA

Thursday, December 8 2016

Today's Research Daily features new research reports on 16 major stocks, including Exxon Mobil (XOM), DuPont (DD) and HCA Holdings (HCA). These reports have been hand-picked from amongst the roughly 70 reports issued by our analyst team today. You can see the complete list of today's research reports here >>>

Exxon Mobil shares have lagged the Zacks Energy sector (+13% vs. +22.4%) in the year-to-date period, but they have outperformed the S&P 500 index (+13% vs. +9.2%). The analyst highlights the company's leading position in the energy industry owing to the size and diversity of its asset base, both in terms of business mix as well as geographical footprint. As one of the most oil-weighted majors, the company's upstream business is poised to benefit from the current OPEC deal and the subsequent advancement of crude oil. Moreover, the company's recent discovery of huge recoverable oil resources on the Owowo field offshore Nigeria is a major positive. Exxon's stellar balance sheet and a long history of paying a regular dividend are some of the other positives. (You can read the full research report on Exxon Mobil here>> )

DuPont shares have underperformed the Zacks Basic Materials sector (+10.8% vs. +28%) in the year-to-date period, but they have nevertheless done better than the broader market. The analyst likes DuPont's aggressive cost-cutting actions and new product launches. The company continues to impress operationally, with Q3 results coming in better than expected, outlook for the current period raised and management reassuring about the Dow deal. DuPont has unveiled redesign actions to support its more focused portfolio of businesses following the spinoff of the performance chemicals unit. Moreover, it remains committed to maximize shareholder value. (You can read the full research report on DuPont here>> )

HCA Holdings shares have gained more than +6% year-to-date, lagging the broader market but clearly outperforming the Zacks Medical Hospitals industry (+6.4% vs. -11.6%). Concerns about the future of ObamaCare remain a major headwind for HCA as well as the industry as a whole, but the company's competitive advantage resulting from the scale and diversity of its operations as one of the largest non-governmental operators of acute care hospitals in the country puts it in a better position relative to its peers. Its top line has been growing over the past several quarters due to robust volumes, improved payor and service mix, and effective cost management. However, the company's bad debts are likely to drain its bottom line and pricing growth in the medium term is likely be affected as payor mix shifts away from managed care to lower priced Government business.(You can read the full research report on HCA Holdings here>> )

Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include SunTrust Banks (STI), Kroger (KR) and Dollar General (DG).

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Sheraz Mian

Director of Research

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Today's Must Read

ExxonMobil (XOM) to Benefit from OPEC-Driven Oil Rally

DuPont (DD) to Gain from Cost Cuts, Merger Synergies

HCA Holdings (HCA) Maintains Niche Position Despite Hurdles

Featured Reports

Universal Health (UHS) Grows on Acquisitions, Risk Remains

The Zacks analyst thinks Universal Health's robust inorganic growth has resulted in a strong revenue base. Its strong business will help it to face headwinds such as regulations, high bad debts.

Dollar General (DG) Lags Q3 Earnings, Efforts in Place

Despite dismal third-quarter fiscal 2016 results, per the Zacks analyst Dollar General's strategic efforts such as cost control, effective inventory management and merchandise initiatives bode well.

Volatile Commodity Prices Limit QEP Resources (QEP) Upside

The covering analyst likes QEP Resources' diversified asset base in multiple high-return U.S. basins. However, the volatility in commodity prices limits upside from current levels.

Honda (HMC) Strives to Grow Amid Weak Japan Sales, Recalls

The Zacks analyst thinks Honda benefits from focus on product and infrastructure development.

Ventas (VTR) Bolstering its Position in Healthcare REIT

The covering analyst believes Ventas' recent initiatives to strengthen its position in the healthcare REIT industry will be accretive going forward.

Ball Corporation (BLL) to Gain from Rexam Buy, Risks Linger

Ball Corporation's Rexam buyout will make it the world's largest manufacturer of beverage cans. However, the Zacks analyst believes that integration risks remain near-term concerns.

Align (ALGN) Gains on Invisalign G7, Asia Pacific Growth

The covering analyst thinks Align continues to trade higher than the broader industry on new product introductions including the latest breakthrough- Invisalign G7.

New Upgrades

SunTrust's (STI) Strategy to Grow Revenue Looks Impressive

The Zacks analyst thinks SunTrust's revenue enhancement initiatives through growth in loan and deposits look impressive. Also, credit quality is expected to improve as the economy recovers gradually.

Foot Locker's (FL) Strategic Endeavors Bode Well

The covering analyst thinks strategic efforts like cost containment, shop-in-shop expansion, store refurbishment and merchandise enhancement help it sustain in a competitive retail landscape.

Crane Co. (CR) Rides High on Strong Fundamentals, 2016 View

Going forward, Crane is well placed to reap benefits from its product line, client base and business expansion initiatives. For 2016, it raised its earnings per share and core sales growth forecasts.

New Downgrades

Rexnord (RXN) Growth Potential Dimmed by Macro & Micro Woes

Rexnord is exposed to risks from forex woes, competition and governments' unfavorable view on business outsourcing. For fiscal 2017, it lowered its adjusted earnings guidance to $1.32-$1.38 per share.

Kroger's (KR) Sales Results to be Hurt by Stiff Competition

The Zacks analyst believes stiff competition, deflationary environment and cautious consumer spending are making things tough for Kroger. Waning commodity prices are hurting the company's margins.

Campbell (CPB) Down on Weak Organic Sales, Cost Cuts on Track

The Zacks analyst thinks Campbell suffers from weak organic sales due to soft carrot sales and the Bolthouse Farms product recall. But it remains on track for $300 million cost savings by fiscal 2018.

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EXXON MOBIL CRP (XOM): Free Stock Analysis Report

SUNTRUST BKS (STI): Free Stock Analysis Report

KROGER CO (KR): Free Stock Analysis Report

HCA HOLDINGS (HCA): Get Free Report

DOLLAR GENERAL (DG): Free Stock Analysis Report

DU PONT (EI) DE (DD): 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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