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Top Analyst Reports for UnitedHealth, Amgen & United Technologies

Mark Vickery
Top Analyst Reports for UnitedHealth, Amgen & United Technologies

Friday, January 19, 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 UnitedHealth (UNH), Amgen (AMGN) and United Technologies (UTX). 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 UnitedHealth’s shares have outperformed the Zacks Medical Insurance industry in the last year (up +53.2% vs. +52.9%). The company’s fourth-quarter earnings beat expectations and grew year over year, led by higher revenues in both its segments and membership growth.

The Zacks analyst likes the company’s robust Government business and continued strong growth at Optum. Its international business and strong capital position that allows for business investment are the other positives. It has been witnessing an increase in membership for several years.

The company has raised its 2018 earnings guidance, led by tax reform upside. Nevertheless, membership loss in its fee-based commercial and Brazilian businesses may pull down overall membership growth.

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

Shares of Amgen have gained +21.3% over the past one year, outperforming the Zacks Biomedical and Genetics industry, which has gained +4.2% over the same period. Amgen is well positioned for growth with several blockbuster drugs in its portfolio. Amgen’s newer drugs – Prolia, Xgeva, Vectibix, Nplate and Sensipar – are performing well.

Amgen is also progressing with its pipeline including biosimilar drugs. Additionally, the Zacks analyst thinks Amgen’s restructuring plan is making it leaner and more cost efficient. The company has a positive record of earnings surprises in the recent quarters. Estimate movement has been mixed ahead of the company’s Q4 earnings release.

However, the company has some challenges in store, given the presence of biosimilar competition and slowdown in sales of mature drugs. Also the softness in Enbrel sales due to stiff competitive and pricing pressure is a key cause for concern. Meanwhile, uptake of key new drug Repatha has been slow due to payer restrictions.

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

Buy-rated United Technologies’ shares have outperformed the Zacks Conglomerates sector in the last six months (the stock is up +10% vs. the -3.8% decline for the sector). United Technologies remains focused on four key priorities to fuel its growth momentum: flawless execution, innovation for growth, structural cost reduction and disciplined capital allocation.

The Zacks analyst thinks the acquisition of Rockwell Collins will offer the company bigger clout in the industry and increase its bargaining power as the combined entity would emerge as one of the largest global aircraft equipment manufacturers. The company’s aftermarket services business is relatively stable compared to new product delivery, and it helps offset the negative impact of downturns in the new products market.

Management further increased its guidance for 2017 on healthy growth dynamics. However, United Technologies is exposed to market price volatility and availability risks related to raw materials, which hamper its ability to meet delivery schedules and increase operating costs.

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

Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include CSX Corporation (CSX), Becton, Dickinson (BDX) and General Dynamics (GD).

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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

Amgen's (AMGN) New Drugs Driving Sales Amid Headwinds

United Technologies (UTX) Rides High on Rockwell Merger

Strong Optum, Solid Balance Sheet Aids UnitedHealth (UNH)

Featured Reports

Strong Land Drilling Demand Boosts National Oilwell (NOV)

The Zacks analyst believes that strong demand for the company's land businesses in North America bode well for NOV but is concerned about low activity and order cancellations in the offshore market.

Revival Efforts Aid Viacom (VIAB), Domestic Ad Revenues Ail

The Zacks analyst likes the company's efforts to revive its fortunes under CEO Bob Bakish. Declining domestic advertisement revenues, however, remain a concern.

Beer Business to Boost Constellation Brands (STZ)

Per the Zacks analyst, Constellation Brands is gaining from strength in beer business, backed by strong portfolio performance and share gains for the Modelo brand family, as well as strong margins.

Solid Portfolio & Balance Sheet Strength Aid Essex (ESS)

The Zacks analyst expects Essex Property to gain from strong property base and solid balance sheet. But aggressive rental concessions and moderate pricing power amid high supply remain worries.

Monster Beverage (MNST) Gains from TCCC Deal, Innovation

Per the Zacks analyst, Monster Beverage's strong product portfolio and innovation raise hopes.

C. R. Bard Acquisition, CE Mark for BD MAX Aid Becton (BDX)

The Zacks analyst is bullish on Becton, Dickinson's recent acquisition of C. R. Bard.

General Dynamics (GD) Gains From R&D, Diverse Offerings

The Zacks analyst believes General Dynamics' focus on research and development helps to develop new products.

New Upgrades

Alleghany (Y) Continues to Gain from Increasing Premiums

Per the Zacks analyst, improving premiums across insurance and reinsurance segments, will continue to boost Alleghany's premium revenues, thereby resulting in the company's overall growth.

CSX Buoyed by Lower Costs & Operating Ratio Improvement

The Zacks analyst likes the company's efforts to check costs. Efforts to reward shareholders also impress. Improvement in operating ratio is also a positive.

Vending Machines, Higher Onsite Locations Boost Fastenal (FAST)

The Zacks analyst stresses that increased onsite locations and installation of vending machines increased sales by 10.8% in 2017 and will continue to do so in 2018.

New Downgrades

Symantec (SYMC) Hurt by Booking Mix Shift & Sale of CA Unit

Symantec's revenue growth rate is likely to be affected by a faster-than-expected shift in booking mix. Also, the sale of its high-margin CA may hurt profitability in near term, per the Zacks analyst.

Divestitures & Price Volatility Hurt Johnson Controls (JCI)

Per the Zacks analyst, high separation costs of divestitures are hitting Johnson Controls' financials. Also, volatile prices of steel, aluminum, copper and fuel are affecting its business.

Perrigo's (PRGO) Rx Segment's Sales Hurt by Generic Pressure

Per the Zacks analyst, generic and pricing pressures in the U.S. businesses, particularly in the Rx segment, may hurt the company's sales in the near term.

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United Technologies Corporation (UTX) : Free Stock Analysis Report
UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (UNH) : Free Stock Analysis Report
General Dynamics Corporation (GD) : Free Stock Analysis Report
CSX Corporation (CSX) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Becton, Dickinson and Company (BDX) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Amgen Inc. (AMGN) : Free Stock Analysis Report
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