Top Stock Reports: Chevron, General Dynamics, Emerson Electric & More

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Thursday, August 9, 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 Chevron (CVX), General Dynamics (GD) and Emerson Electric (EMR). 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 >>>

Chevron 's shares have risen +12.5% in the past year, underperforming the Zacks Integrated Oil industry's +16.1% increase, while shares of larger rival Exxon Mobil have gained a meager +2.2% over the same time period. Shares of Chevron are up nearly 100% from their August 2015 lows and poised for further capital appreciation, riding on its healthy earnings growth prospects. The 'oilier' nature of the company's volume mix positions it to benefit from strengthening oil prices in its upstream business with less encumbrance from its smaller downstream unit. Chevron's existing oil and gas development project pipeline is among the best in the industry, targeting volume growth of 4-7% in 2018. Chevron's cash from operations has increased, allowing management to raise the dividend and announce a $3 billion per year share-buyback program recently. However, the Zacks analyst remains worried over drop in its downstream segment earnings on weaker margins. Also, exposure to production in the vulnerable and violence-prone regions in Nigeria poses additional risk. Hence, investors are advised to wait for a better entry point.

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

Shares of General Dynamics have underperformed the Zacks Aerospace & Defense industry in the past year (-1.5% vs. +22.7%). General Dynamics ended second-quarter 2018 on an impressive note. The company's bottom as well as top line figures surpassed the respective expectations. The company remains one of the only two contractors in the world equipped to build nuclear-powered submarines and has a diverse portfolio of products and services. Its newly certified G500 jet is expected to boost revenues later in 2018. While solid demand for its varied defense products leads to organic growth, a notable acquisition strategy adds to the company's inorganic growth. In this line, the CSRA acquisition bears notable importance. However, a comparative analysis of the company's historical EV/EBITDA ratio reflects a relatively gloomy picture that might be a cause for investors' concern.

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

Emerson Electric 's shares have outperformed the Zacks Electrical Machinery industry over the past three months, gaining +2.8% vs. +0.7%. The company's adjusted earnings per share in third-quarter fiscal 2018 outpaced expectations. The figure also came in higher than the year-ago tally of 68 cents per share. The company expects increased demand from mature and emerging end-markets, ongoing restructuring and cost-reduction moves, lower corporate taxes and greater operational efficacy to drive its profitability in the quarters ahead. However, looking at the stock's performance over the past three months, it appears overvalued and leveraged compared to the industry. Material cost inflation remains a cause of worry for Emerson. Also, the company expects unfavorable foreign currency translation impact to hurt its revenues in the fiscal fourth quarter.

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

Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include American International Group (AIG), MetLife (MET) and HCA Healthcare (HCA).

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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

Chevron (CVX) Buoyed by Cash Flow Amid Downstream Woes

Buyouts Aid General Dynamics (GD), Interest Expenses Ail

Emerson (EMR) Braves Cost Woes on Operational Excellence

Featured Reports

Strong Demand for Digital Solutions Boosts Cognizant (CTSH).

Per the Zacks analyst, increasing consumer interest in digital, analytics, cloud and virtualization solutions is aiding Cognizant. Exposure to financial services and healthcare is also beneficial.

Acquisitions, Divestitures, Cost Control Efforts To Aid AIG

Per the Zacks analyst, numerous divestitures have released funds to invest in core areas. The buyout of Validus and Ellipse should expand business. Cost control efforts should aid margins.

Growing Top-line, Acquisitions Aid HCA Healthcare (HCA)

Per the Zacks analyst, growing revenues driven by increasing admissions has led to significant growth.

Solid Balance Sheet, Revenue Growth Aid MetLife (MET)

Per the Zacks analyst, increase in revenue from sales growth and net investment incomes bodes well.

Higher Premiums Aid Travelers (TRV), Catastrophe Loss Ails

Per the Zacks analyst, increasing premiums will continue to drive Travelers' bottom line, thereby resulting in the company's overall growth.

Investment & Customer Growth Aids American Water Works (AWK)

The Zacks analyst believes American Water Works' planned investment of $8.4-$9.0B from 2018 through 2022 and customer addition via organic and inorganic means will boost performance.

Acquisitions Aid Mitsubishi UFJ (MUFG), High Expenses A Woe

Per the Zacks analyst, Mitsubishi UFJ has been growing through acquisitions and focus on its business upgradation plan (2018-2021).

New Upgrades

HDPE Project, A. Schulman Buyout Aid LyondellBasell (LYB)

The Zacks analyst thinks that LyondellBasell's HDPE project will boost its annual production capacity and improve margins. The buyout of A. Schulman will also create significant cost synergies.

Product Portfolio, Inorganic Initiatives to Aid Colfax (CFX)

Per the Zacks analyst, Colfax's product portfolio and synergistic gains from acquisitions will be beneficial for the company's top line. Agreement to acquire Gas Control Equipment has been signed.

CA Rides on Go-to-Market Sales Strategy, Product Strength

Per the Zacks analyst, CA is benefiting from its go-to-market sales strategy and solid demand for recently launched Trusted Access Manager for Z, a mainframe solution.

New Downgrades

SCANA (SCG) Hurt By Electric Rate Cut & High Debt Burden

Federal judge's decision to cut retail electric rates deals a blow to efforts to recover costs related to a nuclear project. A highly levered balance sheet raises concerns, per the Zacks analyst.

Input Cost Inflation, High Debt Ail Platform Specialty (PAH)

The Zacks analyst is concerned about Platform Specialty's exposure to raw material cost inflation, which is hurting its margins. Its high debt level is another matter of concern.

High IBG LLC Dependence to Hurt Interactive Brokers (IBKR)

Per the Zacks analyst, Interactive Brokers' high dependence on IBG LLC remains a major concern because if it fails to provide funds for taxes, the company's financial condition might suffer.

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

MetLife, Inc. (MET): Free Stock Analysis Report

HCA Healthcare, Inc. (HCA): Free Stock Analysis Report

General Dynamics Corporation (GD): Free Stock Analysis Report

Emerson Electric Co. (EMR): Free Stock Analysis Report

Chevron Corporation (CVX): Free Stock Analysis Report

American International Group, Inc. (AIG): 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.

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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