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Top Analyst Reports for Meta Platforms, Walmart & Pfizer

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

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 Meta Platforms, Inc. (META), Walmart Inc. (WMT) and Pfizer Inc. (PFE). 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 >>>

Shares of Meta Platforms have outperformed the Zacks Internet - Software industry over the past six months (+37.8% vs. +15.8%). The company is benefiting from steady user growth across all regions, particularly Asia Pacific. Increased engagement for its offerings like Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger and Facebook has been a major growth driver.

Meta Platforms’ is leveraging AI to recommend Reels content, which is driving traffic on Instagram and Facebook. Its innovative portfolio, which includes Threads, Reels and Llama 2, is likely to aid prospects.

However, challenging macroeconomic conditions remain a headwind for Meta’s advertising revenues, along with targeting and measurement headwinds due to Apple’s iOS changes. Slow monetization of Reels, along with mounting operating losses at Reality Labs, are concerns.

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

Walmart shares have outperformed the Zacks Retail - Supermarkets industry over the past six months (+10.8% vs. +8.1%), with the outperformance expected to continue on the back of another strong result later this week. Robust omnichannel operations aimed at improving the overall shopping experience is driving the company’s financials. Walmart’s strategic focus on enhancing delivery services has been especially rewarding.

This is evident from the constant increase in the market share for groceries, which boosted U.S. comparable sales in the second quarter of fiscal 2024. During the quarter, the top and bottom lines grew year over year, encouraging management to raise its guidance for fiscal 2024.

Strong comp sales growth globally and e-commerce growth across all units were upsides. While the gross margin increased year over year, it was partly hurt by an adverse category mix, which is likely to linger in the third quarter. Management also expects variable pay expenses to increase year over year in the third quarter.

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

Shares of Pfizer have underperformed the Zacks Large Cap Pharmaceuticals industry over the past six months (-20.0% vs. +2.1%). The company’s top line is declining in 2023 due to steep declines in revenues from its COVID-19 products, Comirnaty vaccine and Paxlovid oral pill, on lower demand.

In October, Pfizer slashed its previously issued revenue guidance for 2023 due to lower-than-expected demand for Comirnaty and Paxlovid. Nonetheless, Pfizer boasts a diversified portfolio of innovative drugs and vaccines, including Ibrance and Prevnar.

Pfizer is witnessing solid pipeline progress and is launching some key non-COVID products in 2023, which can drive long-term sales and profit growth. Huge profits from its COVID products strengthened its cash position. Estimates have declined sharply of Q3 earnings. Pfizer has a positive record of earnings surprises in the recent quarters.

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

Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Intel Corporation (INTC), Enterprise Products Partners L.P. (EPD) and Ecolab Inc. (ECL).

Director of Research

Sheraz Mian

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

User Growth, Instagram Strength Aids Meta Platforms (META)

Walmart (WMT) Benefits from Impressive E-Commerce Operations

Pfizer's (PFE) New Products Can Drive Long Term Sales Growth

Featured Reports

Enterprise (EPD) Gains on Long-term Contracts With Shippers
Enterprise is well positioned to generate steady cashflow from long-term pipeline contracts with shippers. Yet, its significant debt exposure concerns the Zacks analyst.

Focus on R&D Aids Ecolab (ECL) Despite Stiff Competition
The Zacks analyst is upbeat about Ecolab's continued research and development activities despite its operation in a highly competitive market.

Strong Demand, Expansion Actions Aid Nucor (NUE)
While Nucor faces headwinds from lower selling prices, it will benefit from strong demand in its major markets and efforts to boost production capacity, per the Zacks analyst.

Brown & Brown (BRO) Gains on Solid Organic, Inorganic Growth
Per the Zacks analyst, Brown & Brown is set to grow on strategic acquisitions and mergers, which enhance its capabilities. Also, higher commissions and fees position it well for growth.

Strong Demand for Robotics Aids Teradyne (TER) Prospects
Per the Zacks analyst, Teradyne benefits from growing demand for Robotics solutions. Solid demand for memory solutions has been a tailwind.

Strong Free Cash Flow Generation Aids WESCO (WCC) Prospects
Per the Zacks analyst, WESCO benefits from its ability solid free cash flow that helps it to invest in above-market growth.

Favorable Budget Aids Kratos (KTOS), Supply Chain Issue Woes
Per the Zacks analyst, strengthening U.S. defense fiscal budget should boost Kratos' growth momentum. However, supply chain disruptions might impact Kratos' future operating results

New Upgrades

Intel (INTC) Rides on Manufacturing Focus, Diversification
Per the Zacks analyst, Intel is likely to benefit from the development of an advanced semiconductor manufacturing ecosystem, while market diversification and data center business remain tailwinds.

Hewlett Packard (HPE) Benefits From Spurt in Aruba Services
Per the Zacks analyst, a strong uptick in Aruba Services is driving Hewlett Packard's Intelligent Edge segment, which in turn, helps sustain its supremacy in the market with high growth opportunity.

Allogene's (ALLO) Progress With CAR-T Pipeline Encouraging
The Zacks Analyst is encouraged by Allogene's pipeline focused on developing allogenic CAR T therapies for treating cancer. Data readouts on multiple candidates is expected in 2024.

New Downgrades

Allegiant Travel (ALGT) Reels Under Revenue & Cost Woes
The Zacks analyst is worried about the decline in total revenues, following the slowdown in domestic air-travel demand. High fuel costs represent another headwind.

Subdued Capital Markets, High Costs Hurt Raymond James (RJF)
Per the Zacks analyst, weak investment banking performance on subdued capital markets will adversely impact Raymond James' prospects. Mounting expenses are expected to hamper bottom line growth.

Uncertain Economic Conditions & Stiff Competition Hurt KBR
Per the Zacks analyst, KBR's business is being affected by intense competition, along with uncertain global political and economic conditions. Also, delays in the timing of awards poses concern.

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

Intel Corporation (INTC) : Free Stock Analysis Report

Ecolab Inc. (ECL) : Free Stock Analysis Report

Pfizer Inc. (PFE) : Free Stock Analysis Report

Walmart Inc. (WMT) : Free Stock Analysis Report

Enterprise Products Partners L.P. (EPD) : Free Stock Analysis Report

Meta Platforms, Inc. (META) : Free Stock Analysis Report

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Zacks Investment Research