Tuesday, July 31, 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 Comcast (CMCSA), United Technologies (UTX) and Biogen (BIIB). 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 Comcast’s shares have outperformed the Zacks Cable Television industry year to date, losing -11.4% vs. -14.3%. Comcast’s second-quarter results benefited from solid growth in the number of residential high-speed Internet customers. Advertising revenues also increased due to higher political advertising.

Moreover, strong adoption of Xfinity Home drove top-line growth. The company expects to continue investments on Theme Parks, which also reported impressive top-line growth in the quarter. The Zacks analyst thinks the nationwide rollout of the DOCSIS 3.1 technology and the completion of the nationwide rollout of Comcast’s wireless services under the Xfinity Mobile brand will boost subscriber base going forward.

Partnerships with the likes of Charter and Netflix are positive. However, the company continues to lose voice and video subscribers due to cord-cutting and stiff competition. Additionally, high debt level is a headwind.

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

Shares of United Technologies have gained +11.9% in the last year, outperforming the Zacks Diversified Operations industry, which has lost -10% over the same period. The company’s second-quarter 2018 adjusted earnings outpaced expectations and came in higher than the year-ago tally of.

The Zacks analyst thinks that going forward, stronger Otis, Climate Control and Security, Pratt & Whitney and Aerospace Systems sales, as well as new innovation investments will likely continue to drive United Technologies’ revenues. On the other hand, higher revenues and cost-cutting measures are expected to boost profitability in the quarters ahead.

However, material cost inflation and a stretched workforce market scenario have been escalating United Technologies’ aggregate costs, of late. These issues, along with additional tariff imposition, might continue to inflate the company’s expenses, moving ahead.

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

Buy-ranked Biogen’s shares have outperformed the Zacks Biomedical and Genetics industry year to date (+4% vs. -6%). Biogen beat estimates for both earnings and sales in Q2 and raised its outlook for the year. Biogen has a strong position in the MS market with a wide range of products including Avonex, Tysabri, Tecfidera & Plegridy.

The Zacks analyst likes its efforts to diversify beyond MS to other areas like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and stroke, among others. Meanwhile, its newest drug Spinraza has multi-billion dollar potential. Biogen’s efforts to regularly in-license assets to build its pipeline are also encouraging.

Multiple data readouts are expected this year. However, the launch of Ocrevus by Roche is having a negative impact on MS franchise sales in the United States. Also, Spinraza’s slightly moderating trends in the United States is a concern.

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

Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include PNC Financial (PNC), Mondelez (MDLZ) and Valero (VLO).

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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>>>

Featured Reports

USB Flash Drive Product Rollouts Aid Western Digital (WDC)

Per the Zacks analyst, new product additions will aid Western Digital in securing a strong foothold in the SSD market. Also robust demand for data center devices and cloud solutions is a key catalyst.

Productivity Savings Continues to Drive Mondelez (MDLZ)

Per the Zacks analyst, productivity savings from Mondelez’s Restructuring Program, have been boosting margins and aiding growth-oriented investments. However, soft Latin American business is a worry.

Industrial Spending Drives Rockwell (ROK), Higher Costs Ail

Per the Zacks analyst, higher industrial capital spending and investment in new products, software and data analytics will drive growth despite higher material costs due to the imposition of tariffs.

Cost Savings Aid PNC, High Exposure to Commercial Loans Ails

Per the Zacks analyst, PNC Financial’s focus on driving operational efficiency through cost-containment efforts are encouraging.

Growing Product Uptake, Strategic Pacts Aid Illumina (ILMN)

The Zacks analyst expects Illumina to maintain its growth momentum on continued uptake of sequencing consumables, instruments and microarray suites.

Valero (VLO) Gains on Distillate Margins, Sales Cost High

The covering analyst is optimistic about Valero’s gains from higher distillate margins.

Decline in MAUs Hurt Twitter (TWTR) Amid Stiff Competition

Per the Zacks analyst, Twitter’s top-line growth is likely to suffer from declining monthly average users (MAUs).

New Upgrades

FTI Consulting (FCN) Rides on Portfolio & Network Strength

The Zacks analyst is impressed by FTI Consulting’s ability to offer damage assessment, accounting, economics, statistics, finance and industry on a single platform, which attracts clients globally.

Rising Data Center Demand Aids Digital Realty’s (DLR) Growth

Per the Zacks analyst, pick up in demand for data centers will stoke Digital Realty’s growth. Accretive acquisitions, development efforts and decent balance sheet strength offer scope to excel.

Seagate (STX) Banks on NAND Supply Deal & Product Rollouts

Per the Zacks analyst, Seagate’s NAND-supply deal with Toshiba will help it in developing advanced HDD, SSD and hybrid solutions. Also, sustained focus on launching storage products is a positive.

New Downgrades

Toys ‘R’ Us Liquidation & Excess Inventory Hurt Mattel (MAT)

The Zacks analyst notes that the impact of Toys ‘R’ Us liquidation and tighter retail inventory management continues to weigh on Mattel’s revenues and profits.

Nokia (NOK) Hurt by Forex Woes and Weak Networks Business

Per the Zacks analyst, adverse foreign currency movement coupled with soft market demand in North America’s Networks business, resulting in lower operating cash flow, remain major hurdles for Nokia.

Nielsen (NLSN) Hurt By Competition & Buy Segment Weakness

Per the Zacks analyst, mounting competition in the digital space and weakness in the Buy segment will continue to weigh on Nielsen’s margins and profitability.

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Valero Energy Corporation (VLO): Free Stock Analysis Report
United Technologies Corporation (UTX): Free Stock Analysis Report
The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc (PNC): Free Stock Analysis Report
Mondelez International, Inc. (MDLZ): Free Stock Analysis Report
Comcast Corporation (CMCSA): Free Stock Analysis Report
Biogen Inc. (BIIB): Free Stock Analysis Report
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