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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Apple, Mastercard, 3M, AstraZeneca and Mondelez

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL - Jan 04, 2018 - Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include AppleAAPL , MastercardMA , 3MMMM , AstraZenecaAZN and MondelezMDLZ .

Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of the Day pick for free.

Here are highlights from Wednesday's Analyst Blog:

Top Analyst Reports for Apple, Mastercard and 3M

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, Mastercard and 3M. 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-rated Apple 's shares are up +48.5% over the past year, handily outperforming the S&P 500 (up +19.4%) and the Zacks Technology sector (up +27.5%). The company is benefiting from steady iPhone sales, spurt in Services segment and resurgence in Mac and iPad sales.

Apple is anticipated to benefit from the strong demand for iPhone X in mature markets, which will help it to sustain momentum in the near term. Going ahead, the Zacks analyst thinks foray into fast-growing technologies like autonomous vehicles, artificial intelligence (AI) & AR/VR are long-term drivers.

Estimates have remained stable ahead of the company's Q1 earnings release. The company has positive record of earnings surprises in recent quarters. However, the new iPhone X at $999 is quite pricey, particularly for cost sensitive markets like India. Intensifying competition from cheaper Chinese handset-makers remains a concern.

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

Shares of Mastercard have gained +42.8% over the past one year, outperforming the Zacks Financial Transaction Services industry which has gained +34.4% over the same period. The Zacks analyst likes its solid market position, ongoing expansion and digital initiatives, and significant opportunities from the secular shift toward electronic payments. The acquisitions of VocaLink and NuData Security complement the company's efforts to participate in new payment flows and enhance its safety and security offerings.

The stock has seen the Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings being revised 2.5% upward over the last 90 days. However, Mastercard continues to face increasing costs, a volatile forex environment and legal issues. Also, higher incentives and rewards will put pressure on the bottom line.

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

3M 's shares have gained +8.9% over the past three months, outperforming the Zacks Diversified Operations industry, which has declined -3.4% over the same period. The Zacks analyst likes 3M's global footprint, diversified product portfolio and the ability to penetrate different markets.

At the same time, the company is continuing with its portfolio restructuring efforts by divesting assets that no longer fit in its strategy and continues to make investments in other lucrative markets. Portfolio management, investment in innovation and business transformation are the three key levers on which the company intends to focus. However, given its international presence, adverse foreign currency translations are likely to affect 3M's ability to realize projected growth rates in sales and earnings.

3M is also facing increased pension expenses as its workforce begins to retire. The related extra costs are a drag on the bottom line. Sustained dollar strength remains another headwind as exports consume a significant part of the company's operations.

(You can read the full research report on 3M here >>> ).

Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include AstraZeneca and Mondelez.

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Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1 Stock of the Day pick for free .

About Zacks Equity Research

Zacks Equity Research provides the best of quantitative and qualitative analysis to help investors know what stocks to buy and which to sell for the long-term.

Continuous coverage is provided for a universe of 1,150 publicly traded stocks. Our analysts are organized by industry which gives them keen insights to developments that affect company profits and stock performance. Recommendations and target prices are six-month time horizons.

Strong Stocks that Should Be in the News

Many are little publicized and fly under the Wall Street radar. They're virtually unknown to the general public. Yet today's 220 Zacks Rank #1 "Strong Buys" were generated by the stock-picking system that has nearly tripled the market from 1988 through 2015. Its average gain has been a stellar +26% per year. See these high-potential stocks free >>.

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Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss. This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit https://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

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Astrazeneca PLC (AZN): Free Stock Analysis Report

Apple Inc. (AAPL): Free Stock Analysis Report

3M Company (MMM): Free Stock Analysis Report

Mondelez International, Inc. (MDLZ): Free Stock Analysis Report

Mastercard Incorporated (MA): 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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