Friday, March 16, 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 Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B), PepsiCo (PEP) and Broadcom (AVGO). 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 Berkshire Hathaway’s shares have gained +20.2% in the last year, outperforming the Zacks Property and Casualty Insurance industry which increased +16.6% during the same period. Berkshire’s fourth-quarter 2017 earnings of $32.6 billion increased more than fivefold year over year, benefiting from the enactment of the 2017 Tax Act.
The Zacks analyst thinks its inorganic story remains impressive with strategic acquisitions. A strong cash position allows it to make earnings-accretive bolt-on acquisitions. Demand for utilities is expected to rise in the future and drive earnings growth. Continued insurance business growth also fuels increase in float. A sturdy capital level further adds impetus to the company.
However, the insurance business generates maximum return on equity but its exposure to catastrophe loss remains a concern. Huge capital expenses due to railroad operations are also headwinds. The stock has seen the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2018 and 2019 earnings moving north in the last 60 days.
(You can read the full research report on Berkshire Hathaway here >>>).
Shares of PepsiCo have gained +0.6% in the last year, underperforming the Zacks Soft Beverages industry, which has increased +17.4% over the same period. PepsiCo’s fourth-quarter 2017 earnings and revenues beat expectations. Notably, this is the seventh consecutive quarter of positive earnings surprise. Improvement in the snack business helped offset continued weakness at its beverage business amid rapidly shifting consumer landscape.
Core earnings grew 7% but revenues remained unchanged year over year. Organic revenue growth improved to 2.3% from 1.7% in the prior quarter, led by the emerging and developing markets, which saw revenue increase by 7%. Notably, Frito-Lay North America organic revenues grew 5%.
On the flip side, NAB division reported dismal results with revenues and operating profit decreasing 6% and 29%, respectively. Again, overall gross margin contracted 50 bps owing to weakness in the NAB segment. Shifting consumer preferences toward healthier options is a potent headwind.
(You can read the full research report on PepsiCo here >>>).
Broadcom’s shares have handily beaten the Zacks Electronics - Semiconductors industry over the past year, gaining +21.1% vs. +14%. Broadcom reported impressive first-quarter results. The Zacks analyst thinks the company is benefiting from strong demand of its wireless solutions and expanding product portfolio, which makes it well-positioned to address the needs of rapidly growing technologies like IoT and 5G. The company also has strong ties with leading OEMs across multiple target markets that will help it to gain key insights into the requirements of customers.
Moreover, the upcoming launch of the next generation WiFi products is expected to be a growth driver for the segment. However, customer concentration, intensifying competition, integration risks due to frequent acquisitions and leverage balance sheet are key headwinds.
Further, President Trump recently released an order asking Qualcomm to immediately and permanently abandon its proposed takeover by Broadcom on grounds of national security concerns. This doesn't bode well for the company.
(You can read the full research report on Broadcom here >>>).
Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Sirius XM (SIRI), Air Products (APD) and Dr Pepper (DPS).
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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>>>
Today's Must Read
Berkshire (BRK.B) To Gain from Solid Insurance Operations
PepsiCo (PEP) Strong on Innovations, Soft CSD Volume Hurts
Higher Tax Rate, Trump's Regulatory Moves to Hurt Broadcom (AVGO)
Dr Pepper (DPS) Rides on Product Innovation Amid Competition
Per the Zacks analyst, innovation and productivity improvements are driving the upside for Dr Pepper while intense competition raises caution.
Campbell Soup's (CPB) Cost-Savings on Track, Soft Margins a Woe
Per Zacks analyst, Campbell Soup's cost savings plan is on track with program-to-date savings of $365 million.
Increased Membership Buoys Teladoc (TDOC), High Cost Ails
Per the Zacks analyst, Teladoc is witnessing steady growth with increasing membership due to rapidly growing demand for telehealth services.
Acquisitions, Investments Drives American Water Works (AWK)
The Zacks analyst believes American Water Works will gain from acquisitions that added 39,514 customers in 2017. The $8.0 to $8.6B investment for 2018-2020 period will further boost its performance.
Competitive Pricing & High Costs Hurt Stericycle (SRCL)
Per the Zacks analyst, intense price competition and steady rise in operating costs weigh heavily on Stericycle's margins.
Macy's (M) Banks on Omnichannel Strategy to Drive Growth
Per the Zacks analyst, Macy's sustained focus on omnichannel strategy, price optimization and inventory management will help drive results.
Robust Portfolio, Marine Share Gains Benefit Garmin (GRMN)
Per the Zacks analyst, solid portfolio of new products across segments, secular drivers in the aviation market and share gains in the marine market are driving Garmin's growth.
Subscriber Growth, Dividends & Buybacks Aid Sirius XM (SIRI)
The Zacks analyst is appreciative of the company's net subscriber growth. Efforts to reward shareholders through dividends and buybacks also raise optimism in the stock.
Kellogg (K) Well Poised on Project K, ZBB Cost Saving Plans
Per the Zacks analyst, Kellogg's cost savings from its Project K and zero-based budgeting (ZBB) plans have been supporting renovation, innovation, brand support and margins.
Launch of New Generic Drugs to Boost Impax's (IPXL) Revenues
Per the Zacks analyst, the launch of new generic drugs should boost revenues, while Rytary sales keep gaining traction. The company's merger with Amneal should create synergies and diversify pipeline.
Tax Charges, Outage Costs Weigh On Air Products (APD)
According to the Zacks analyst, charges related to the new U.S. tax act will hurt the company's earnings in fiscal 2018. Maintenance outage costs are also affecting its margins.
High Commodity Pricing Dents Hewlett Packard's (HPE) Margins
Per the Zacks analyst, Hewlett Packard's margins will continue to be negatively impacted by competitive pricing as well as heightened commodity pricing in the near term.
High Power Prices, Input Costs Ail Century Aluminum (CENX)
Per the Zacks analyst, elevated costs of certain key raw materials including caustic soda will weigh on Century Aluminum's margins. High prices for power at its Mt. Holly smelter is another concern.
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Sirius XM Holdings Inc. (SIRI) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Pepsico, Inc. (PEP) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Inc (DPS) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK.B) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Broadcom Limited (AVGO) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. (APD) : Free Stock Analysis Report
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