Top Stock Reports for Berkshire Hathaway, Exxon Mobil & Walmart

Thursday, September 29, 2022
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 Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK.B), Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) and Walmart Inc. (WMT). 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 >>>

Berkshire Hathaway shares have underperformed the Zacks Insurance - Property and Casualty industry over the past year (-0.5% vs. +0.4%). The company’s exposure to catastrophe loss induces earnings volatility and also affects the property and casualty underwriting results of Berkshire. Huge capital expenditures remain a headwind for the company.

However, Berkshire Hathaway is one of the largest property and casualty insurance companies measured by premium volume. Berkshire's inorganic growth story remains impressive with strategic acquisitions. A strong cash position supports earnings-accretive bolt-on buyouts and indicates the company's financial flexibility.

Continued insurance business growth fuels increase in float, drive earnings and generates maximum return on equity. The non-insurance businesses are delivering improved results with increased revenues over the past few years. A sturdy capital level provides further impetus.

(You can read the full research report on Berkshire Hathaway here >>>)

Exxon Mobil shares have outperformed the Zacks Oil and Gas - Integrated – International industry over the past year (+51.1% vs. +27.2%). The company’s bellwether status and an optimal integrated capital structure that has historically produced industry-leading returns make it a relatively lower-risk energy sector play. The company made three oil discoveries in the Stabroek Block, which will increase its recoverable resources estimates to 11 billion oil-equivalent barrels.

ExxonMobil also has a strong presence in the prolific Permian Basin, where it expects to boost production volumes by 25% in 2022. The company reported strong second-quarter earnings, owing to higher realized commodity prices and solid refinery utilization.

ExxonMobil generated cash flow of $20.9 billion from operations and asset divestments in the second quarter. Also, it has significantly lower debt exposure than other integrated majors. Hence, ExxonMobil is considered a preferred energy firm to own now.

(You can read the full research report on Exxom Mobil here >>>)

Walmart shares have underperformed the Zacks Retail - Supermarkets industry over the past year (-4.5% vs. -3.0%). The company’s consolidated operating income and earnings per share view suggest a decline from the year-ago period figures. The company is encountering cost pressure associated with fuel prices, supply chain and excess inventory. Cost inflation and markdowns hurt its gross margin in the second quarter.

However, Walmart has been benefiting from its robust omnichannel operations due to its efforts to enhance both store and online experience. Walmart has been particularly gaining from its efforts to boost delivery services through acquisitions and partnerships.

The company’s U.S. comp sales continued to benefit from an increased market share in grocery in the second quarter of fiscal 2023, wherein the top line grew year over year. Management raised its net sales view for fiscal 2023.

(You can read the full research report on Walmart here >>>)
Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (BABA), Accenture plc (ACN), and American Express Co. (AXP).

Mark Vickery
Senior Editor
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

Berkshire (BRK.B) Continues to Gain From Insurance Business

ExxonMobil (XOM) Banks on Permian and Guyana Assets

Walmart (WMT) Gains on E-Commerce Efforts, Hurt by Cost Woes

Featured Reports

Wholesale & Cloud Businesses Momentum Aids Alibaba (BABA)
Per the Zacks analyst, growing China and International Commerce businesses are benefiting Alibaba's wholesale business. Further, expanding cloud business is contributing well to its top line.

Accenture (ACN) Gains on Service Demand Despite Talent Cost
Per the Zacks analyst, Accenture is steadily gaining traction in its outsourcing and consulting businesses, backed by high demand for services. A competitive talent market remains a concern.

Solid Investments Aid Duke Energy (DUK), Weak Solvency Woes
Per the Zacks analyst, Duke Energy's investment in infrastructure and expansion projects tend to boost its long-term growth prospects. However, its weak solvency position remains a bottleneck.

Market Share Gains Aid Keurig Dr Pepper's (KDP) Top Line
Per the Zacks analyst, Keurig witnesses market share gains from higher household penetration in hot and cold beverages, which is likely to continue. This is supported by marketing and innovation plans

Surging Orders to Drive Fortive (FTV) Amid High Leverage
Per the Zacks analyst,, Fortive's performance is gaining from increased orders for both software and hardware offerings. However, stiff competition and leveraged balance sheet remain concerns.

A Wide Array of Services Continue to Aid AMN Healthcare (AMN)
The Zacks analyst is upbeat about AMN Healthcare's expanded portfolio serving a diverse and growing healthcare talent-related needs despite its operation in a fiercely competitive niche space.

AmEx (AXP) to Gain From Rising Consumer Spending & Buyouts
Per the Zacks analyst, increased consumer spending and economic recovery will boost volumes, and buyouts would trigger inorganic growth for American Express. Yet, rising costs hurt the bottom line.

New Upgrades

Paylocity Holding (PCTY) Benefits From Growing Customer Base
Per the Zacks Analyst, Paylocity Holding is benefiting from its differentiated employee strategy, comprehensive product offerings and on-demand pay facility, that are helping it win new customers.

Cactus (WHD) to Gain From Higher Wellhead Equipment Sales
The Zacks analyst is upbeat about Cactus witnessing higher sales of its wellhead and production-related equipment, which will translate into increased cash flows.

Cracker Barrel (CBRL) Rides on Off-premise Business Model
Per the Zacks analyst, Cracker Barrel is benefitting from solid off-premise sales, digital efforts and loyalty program. Also, focus on menu offerings with reduced complexity bode well.

New Downgrades

Commodity Costs, High Debt Ail Scotts Miracle-Gro (SMG)
The Zacks analyst is concerned that higher commodity costs will exert pressure on Scotts Miracle-Gro's margins. Its high debt level is another concern.

Higher Input & Production Costs Hurt Kronos Worldwide (KRO)
Per the Zacks analyst, a spike in raw material costs due to disruptions in global supply chains will weigh on the company's bottom line. It also faces headwind from higher production costs.

Expenses, Tough Operating Backdrop Hurt SVB Financial (SIVB)
Per the Zacks analyst, elevated operating expenses are likely to hurt SVB Financial's bottom line. Geopolitical and recessionary fears are other headwinds, which will likely weigh on its financials.

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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
Accenture PLC (ACN): Free Stock Analysis Report
Exxon Mobil Corporation (XOM): Free Stock Analysis Report
Walmart Inc. (WMT): Free Stock Analysis Report
American Express Company (AXP): Free Stock Analysis Report
Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK.B): Free Stock Analysis Report
Alibaba Group Holding Limited (BABA): 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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