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Top Analyst Reports for Berkshire Hathaway, Verizon & Accenture

Mark Vickery

Monday, December 9, 2019

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), Verizon Communications (VZ) and Accenture (ACN). 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’s shares have underperformed the Zacks Insurance - Property and Casualty industry year to date (9.1% vs. 10.6%). The Zacks analyst believes that the company’s strong cash position supports earnings-accretive bolt-on buyouts. Continued insurance business growth also fuels increase in float.

Berkshire Hathaway’s third-quarter 2019 earnings of $3.21 per share beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 15.5% and improved 15.1% year over year on the back of better performance across all its segments. It boasts to be one of the largest property and casualty insurance company measured by premium volume. Its inorganic growth story remains impressive with strategic acquisitions.

Its non-insurance businesses are delivering improved results. A sturdy capital level provides further impetus. However, exposure to catastrophe loss remains a concern. Huge capital expenses due to railroad operations pose concern.

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

Shares of Verizon have gained 2.5% in the past three months against the Zacks Wireless National industry’s rise of 1%. The Zacks analyst believes that with industry-leading wireless products and services, the company remains well poised to benefit from increased 5G deployment across the country under the new operational framework.

Focus on online content delivery, mobile video and online advertising will also likely drive future growth. The company has upped the ante against rivals by launching 5G Ultra Wideband network in select locations of the country and reiterated its guidance. However, it continues to struggle in a competitive U.S. wireless market.

The company's wireline division is struggling with losses in access lines due to competitive pressure from VoIP service providers. In addition, Verizon is spending heavily on promotion and lucrative discounts to woo customers, which contracts margins.

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

Accenture's shares have gained 9.9% over the past six months against the Zacks Consulting industry's rise of 9%. The Zacks analyst believes that Accenture has been steadily gaining traction in its outsourcing and consulting businesses.

The company has been strategically enhancing its cloud and digital marketing suite through acquisitions and partnerships. The company’s strong operating cash flow has helped it reward its shareholders in the form of dividends and share repurchases, and pursue opportunities in areas that show true potential.

Accenture is currently a global leader in the Salesforce implementation service space. Due to these positives, shares of Accenture have outperformed its industry in the past year.

However, Accenture continues to face pricing pressure due to significant competition from strong companies like Genpact, Cognizant and Infosys. Global presence exposes Accenture to foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations. Buyout-related integration risks is a concern.

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

Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY), General Electric (GE) and American Tower (AMT).

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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 Hathaway (BRK.B) Rides on Non-Insurance Business

Verizon (VZ) Rides on 5G, Mobile Video & Online Content Boom

Accenture (ACN) Continues to Benefit From Acquisitions

Featured Reports

Opdivo, Eliquis Driver Bristol-Myers (BMY) Amid Competition

Per the Zacks analyst, label expansion of blockbuster drug Opdivo should maintain momentum for Bristol-Myers amid stiff competition.

Restructurings to Aid General Electric (GE), Power Woes Drag

Per a Zacks analyst, General Electric (GE) is poised to gain from its restructuring program, focusing on enhancing Power, Aviation and Renewable Energy businesses.

Tower Buyouts Aid American Tower (AMT) Amid Churn Concerns

Per the Zacks Analyst, tower buyouts amid favorable trends in mobile-data usage are a strategic fit for American Tower.

Retail USA Growth Aids Walgreens (WBA), LabCorp Deal a Plus

The Zacks analyst is bullish about Walgreens' initiative to improve prescription growth in Retail Pharmacy USA.

America Movil (AMX) Rides on Subscriber Growth, Acquisitions

Per the Zacks analyst, America Movil is likely to benefit from strong postpaid subscriber additions in Brazil, Mexico and Austria, along with the acquisition of Nextel Telecomunicacoes and AI Brazil.

Business Streamlining, Solid Balance Sheet Aid MetLife (MET)

Per the Zacks analyst, exit of U.S Retail unit, closing of UK Wealth Management business has freed MetLife from high-risk, non-core operations; its strong capital position supports long term growth.

Canadian Natural (CNQ) Grows on Pelican Lake Oil Properties

The Zacks analyst likes Canadian Natural's Pelican Lake premium oil assets but believes that the C$3.25-billion term loan to fund the Devon Energy asset acquisition will worsen its leverage ratio.

New Upgrades

Robust Product Portfolio & Higher bookings Aid Aspen (AZPN)

Per the Zacks analyst, Aspen Technology is gaining from solid adoption of its asset optimization solutions, including APM, MSC and Mtell. Also, strong pipeline for new business bookings is a positive.

Growth in Service and Custodial Units Aid HealthEquity (HQY)

HealthEquity has been consistently gaining from its core Service and Custodial segments. The Zacks Analyst is also bullish about the company's raised view for fiscal 2020.

Strong Linzess Demand and Partnership Drive Ironwood (IRWD)

Per the Zacks analyst, Ironwood has recorded has strong growth in Linzess sales and the drug is expected to reach blockbuster status by 2020. Allergan's partnership related to Linzess is encouraging.

New Downgrades

Soft Own-Beer Volumes Weigh on AB InBev's (BUD) Top Line

Per Zacks analyst, AB InBev is witnessing lower own-beer volumes, driven by declines in China and the United States, mainly due to impact of shipment phasing.

Rising Costs Impede Cardiovascular Systems' (CSII) Growth

The Zacks analyst is worried about Cardiovascular Systems' rising operating expenses that have continued to put bottom-line pressure. Also, its orbital atherectomy system products face stiff rivalry.

Children's Place (PLCE) Soft Margin Trend is a Concern

Per the Zacks analysts, Children's Place (PLCE) has been witnessing weak margin trends for a while. Increased promotional activity and deleverage of fixed expenses have been weighing on the same.

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Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) : Free Stock Analysis Report
General Electric Company (GE) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK.B) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (BMY) : Free Stock Analysis Report
American Tower Corporation (REIT) (AMT) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Accenture PLC (ACN) : Free Stock Analysis Report
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