Monday, December 11, 2017
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 Schlumberger (SLB), General Motors (GM) and Monsanto (MON). 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 >>>
Schlumberger’s shares have lost -24.3% year to date, following the Zacks Oil and Gas Field Services industry’s -32.3% decline. However, this compares unfavorably with rival Halliburton’s -18.6% decline. But the Zacks analyst stresses that Schlumberger is the largest oilfield services player in the world with presence in every energy market across the world. Also, in all the operating business segments, the company is among the top players.
The firm has been banking on growing hydraulic fracturing work in the North American land market. Schlumberger is also expected to generate significant cashflow from the Palliser Block project where the company will assist Torxen Energy in setting up more than 1,600 oil wells.
However, since 2015, Schlumberger’s long-term debt load increased considerably. Moreover, the company’s cash balance has been declining over the last six quarters, reflecting significant balance sheet weakness.
(You can read the full research report on Schlumberger here >>>).
Shares of General Motors have outperformed the Zacks Domestic Automotive industry over the last six months, increasing +21.2% vs. +6.1%. In November, the United States, the company reported 245,387 deliveries. The company was hugely successful in crossover lineup in November. Its Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC brands recorded double-digit rises in retail deliveries of crossovers.
In November, General Motors, along with its Chinese joint venture (JV) announced record vehicles deliveries of 418,225 in China. This marks a 13% rise on yearly basis. The company aims to focus more on the development of electric vehicles and plans to roll out 20 electric or hydrogen fuel cell vehicles by 2023.
The Zacks analyst likes its emphasis on strengthening its brands, increasing retail sales and maintaining operating discipline. However, frequent vehicle recalls, high inventory level of passenger cars and currency fluctuations are few concerns the company has been facing.
(You can read the full research report on General Motors here >>>).
Monsanto's shares have outperformed the Zacks Agricultural Products industry over the last year, gaining +12.1% vs. +11.3%. The company believes that elevated sales of crop yield enhancing products as well as premium plant disease control solutions will boost its near-term results.
Moreover, deeper penetration of the Climate FieldView platform and stronger innovation will be advantageous. Also, the completion of Bayer's buyout deal is anticipated to open up a number of opportunities for Monsanto. However, commercial rivalry in the global seeds, traits and agricultural chemical industry can prove detrimental.
Also, lack of any research & development as well as unfavorable commodity price fluctuations might be concerns. Over the last 30 days, Zacks Consensus Estimate for the stock remained stable for both fiscal 2018 and fiscal 2019.
(You can read the full research report on Monsanto here >>>).
Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Morgan Stanley (MS), Dollar Tree (DLTR) and United Continental (UAL).
Today's Stocks from Zacks' Hottest Strategies
It's hard to believe, even for us at Zacks. But while the market gained +18.8% from 2016 - Q1 2017, our top stock-picking screens have returned +157.0%, +128.0%, +97.8%, +94.7%, and +90.2% respectively.
And this outperformance has not just been a recent phenomenon. Over the years it has been remarkably consistent. From 2000 - Q1 2017, the composite yearly average gain for these strategies has beaten the market more than 11X over. Maybe even more remarkable is the fact that we're willing to share their latest stocks with you without cost or obligation.
See Them Free>>
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
Schlumberger's (SLB) Higher Fracking Work Offsets Debt Load
Strong Retail Crossover Sales Drives General Motors (GM)
Monsanto (MON) Set to Gain From Climate FieldView Platform
Acquisition Spree Aids First Horizon (FHN), Legal Woes Linger
The Zacks analyst remains optimistic about First Horizon's acquisitions which seek to expand core franchise, cost control efforts and easing margin pressure.
Organic Growth Aids Triumph Group (TGI), Weak Cash Flow Ails
Per the Zacks analyst, Triumph's focus on improving its organic growth has been strong due to the addition of products and services. Yet, it has been witnessing weak cash flow in the last few quarters
Rising Premium Aids ProAssurance (PRA), Growing Costs Hurt
Per the Zacks analyst, the company's premiums are increasing driven by strategic acquisitions and strong underwriting discipline. But higher underwriting, policy acquisition expenses weighs on margins.
Buybacks Buoy United Continental (UAL), High Costs Ail
The Zacks analyst likes the company's efforts to reward shareholders though buybacks. Efforts to upgrade its fleet are also encouraging. Increased labor and fuel costs, however, raise concerns.
Scientific Games (SGMS) Drives on Innovative Product Portfolio
Per the Zacks analyst, Scientific Games benefits from innovative product pipeline and robust performance of the gaming and interactive businesses.
Dollar Tree's (DLTR) Pricing & Expansion Plan to Boost Sales
Per the Zacks analyst, competitive pricing and strategic store expansion should aid sales.
Improved Transaction, Traffic to Aid Dollar General (DG) Comps
Per the Zacks analyst, higher transaction and traffic continue to strengthen Dollar General's comps, expected to increase 2.5% in fiscal 2017.
Focus on Wealth Management Aids Morgan Stanley's (MS) Growth
Per the Zacks analyst, Morgan Stanley's initiatives to strengthen its wealth management operations will continue to aid profitability. Its cost saving initiatives will further strengthen bottom line.
Lululemon's (LULU) E-commerce Strategy to Augment Top Line
Per the Zacks analyst, Lululemon's e-commerce strategy currently clings to developing the processes started in first and second quarter of 2017. It targets delivering $4 billion in revenues by 2020.
Cost Control & Easing Margin Pressure Aids Comerica (CMA)
Per the Zacks analyst, Comerica's efforts to drive operational efficiency remain encouraging. It also continues to benefit from a strong capital position and easing margin pressure.
Ferrellgas (FGP) Impacted by Rise in Operating Expenses
The Zacks analyst believes rise in operating expenses and increase in propane prices has adversely impacted margins of Ferrellgas Partners.
Declining HPV Sales and Currency Woes Hurt QIAGEN (QGEN)
The Zacks analyst is worried about QIAGEN's consistent decline in worldwide HPV sales on certain tender loss. Also, unfavorable foreign exchange remains a concern for the company.
Lower Comps & Store Closures Hurt Fred's (FRED) Top-Line
Per the Zacks analyst Fred's top-line during the third quarter remained sluggish owing to dismal comps and closure of underperforming stores, despite the company's dedicated efforts to boost sales.
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
United Continental Holdings, Inc. (UAL) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Schlumberger N.V. (SLB) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Morgan Stanley (MS) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Monsanto Company (MON) : Free Stock Analysis Report
General Motors Company (GM) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Dollar Tree, Inc. (DLTR) : Free Stock Analysis Report
To read this article on Zacks.com click here.
Zacks Investment Research