Wednesday, November 18, 2020
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 Walmart (WMT), AstraZeneca (AZN) and HSBC Holdings (HSBC). 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 >>>
Walmart shares have modestly outperformed the Zacks Supermarkets industry in the year-to-date period (+27.2% vs. +23.9%), but the stock has handily beaten the broader market on the back strong momentum in its online business and rising demand for grocery and general merchandise amid the pandemic.
Stay-at-home trends are also boosting e-commerce sales, which soared 79% in the U.S. segment in third-quarter fiscal 2021. During the quarter, the top and bottom lines beat the estimates and grew year over year, with U.S. comp sales rising for the 25th straight time. Comps were fueled by strength in core categories and higher shift toward e-commerce.
Clearly, Walmart’s efforts to enhance deliveries are yielding results. Also, the company is focused on improving the International unit’s performance, evident from its recent plans to sell certain businesses. However, the company is seeing high COVID-19 costs, which are likely to prevail. Also, price investments are hurting gross margin to an extent.
(You can read the full research report on Walmart here >>>)
Shares of AstraZeneca have gained +15.2% over the past year against the Zacks Large Cap Pharmaceuticals industry’s rise of +5.4%. The Zacks analyst believes that AstraZeneca’s newer drugs, mainly cancer medicines Lynparza, Tagrisso and Imfinzi should keep driving revenues. Its pipeline is strong with several phase III data readouts lined up for the next few months including data on COVID-19 vaccine candidate, AZD1222.
AstraZeneca missed Q3 estimates for earnings but beat the same for sales. Its products like Nexium, Crestor and Seroquel are facing generic competition, which is hurting sales. The diabetes franchise also faces stiff competition while pricing pressure is hurting sales in the respiratory unit.
AstraZeneca has also engaged in external acquisitions and strategic collaborations to boost its pipeline while investing in geographic areas of high growth like China. Cost-cutting efforts should drive earnings.
(You can read the full research report on AstraZeneca here >>>)
HSBC shares have gained +2.9% over the past six months against the Zacks Foreign Banks industry’s rise of +38.5%. The Zacks analyst believes that the company’s initiatives to improve market share in the U.K. and China are likely to support financials over the long term.
However, these efforts might lead to a rise in costs in the near term, thus, hurting the bottom line. Moreover, global economic slowdown, low interest rate environment across the globe and weak loan demand will likely hamper revenue growth. The coronavirus-induced ambiguity is likely to continue to hurt financials to some extent in the near term.
Yet, the company’s strong capital position, initiatives to strengthen digital capabilities, extensive network across the world and efforts to improve operating efficiency through business restructuring are expected to support profits.
(You can read the full research report on HSBC here >>>)
Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Exxon Mobil (XOM), TOTAL (TOT) and Altria Group (MO).
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Today's Must Read
Walmart's (WMT) Sales to Gain on Robust Ecommerce Business
Cancer Drugs Push AstraZeneca's (AZN) Sales, Pipeline Solid
Restructuring to Aid HSBC Holdings (HSBC) Amid Low Rates
ExxonMobil (XOM) Banks on Guyana Discoveries, Refining Weak
ExxonMobil estimates a gross recoverable resource of nearly 9 billion oil-equivalent barrels from the offshore Guyana discoveries. However, weak refining business concerns the Zacks analyst.
LNG Focus, Strong Production Portfolio Aid TOTAL (TOT)
Per the Zacks analyst TOTAL's focus to develop LNG assets globally and its strong production growth through new startups are going to boost its performance.
Solid Pricing Aids Altria (MO) Amid Weak Cigarette Volumes
Per the Zacks analyst, Altria has been gaining on its solid pricing, which aided the company in the third quarter.
Attractive Business Mixes Aid PNC, Increasing Costs a Woe
Per the Zacks analyst, execution of strategic initiatives and attractive business profile helps PNC improve its topline.
Moderna's (MRNA) Coronavirus Vaccine Development Encouraging
Per the Zacks analyst, Moderna's foray into the development of an mRNA-based vaccine for coronavirus infection, COVID-19, and rapid progress with it is boosting the company's prospects.
Verily Deal Aids Walgreens (WBA) amid Pandemic-led Crisis
The Zacks analyst looks forward to Walgreens' pact with Alphabet's Verily amid intensifying competition in the retail drugstore market.
Strong Data Traffic & Security Solutions Aids Akamai (AKAM)
Per the Zacks analyst, Akamai is benefiting from the growing adoption of its cloud-based security solutions, increasing data traffic, and robust over-the-top (OTT) content viewing.
ResMed (RMD) Rides on Strong Ventilator Sales Amid Pandemic
The Zacks analyst is upbeat about the robust sales of ResMed's ventilators and masks sales amid the pandemic. Product launches look encouraging as well.
Dividends, Buybacks & Cost Cuts Boost Knight-Swift (KNX)
The Zacks analyst is impressed by the company's efforts to control costs. Initiatives to add shareholder value are encouraging too.
Strong Digitalization & Menu Innovation to Aid Brinker (EAT)
Per the Zacks analyst, Brinker's investment in technology-driven initiatives, like online ordering to drive sales and boost guest services to drive growth. Moreover, menu innovation also bodes well.
Cruise Cancellations & Cash Burn Hurts Royal Caribbean (RCL)
Per the Zacks analyst, cruise cancellations and cash burn due to the coronavirus pandemic continues to hurt Royal Caribbean. Due to the pandemic, bookings for 2020 have declined significantly.
Sluggish Global Cinema Market, High Costs Hurt Dolby (DLB)
Per the Zacks analyst, weak demand for Dolby's cinema products due to the COVID-19 pandemic and high cost of sales, along with rapid technological innovations hurt Dolby's near-term growth potential.
Higher Shipping Costs to Hurt Williams-Sonoma's (WSM) Margin
Per the Zacks analyst, higher shipping costs stemming from a substantial shift to e-commerce sales may put pressure on the gross margin of the company going forward.
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Exxon Mobil Corporation (XOM) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Walmart Inc. (WMT) : Free Stock Analysis Report
TOTAL SE (TOT) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Altria Group, Inc. (MO) : Free Stock Analysis Report
HSBC Holdings plc (HSBC) : Free Stock Analysis Report
AstraZeneca PLC (AZN) : Free Stock Analysis Report
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