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Top Research Reports for Alphabet, 3M and P&G

Sheraz Mian

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Today's Research Daily features new research reports on 16 major stocks, including Alphabet (GOOGL), 3M (MMM), and Procter & Gamble (PG). You can see all of today's research reports here >>>

Buy rated Alphabet shares led the Zacks Tech sector at the start of the year, but have consistently underperformed the Tech sector since the weaker than expected quarterly report on January 26th (the stock is up +7.3% in the year-to-date period vs. +9.7% for the Tech sector. The stock responds strongly to quarterly earnings reports and has been weak following the last two reports, so expectations are likely modest ahead of the April 27th earnings release. The Zacks analyst points out the company's good execution to date, more or less maintaining its dominant share in a competitive, fast-growing search market. The company's focus on innovation, strategic acquisitions and Android OS should continue to generate strong cash flows. However, the promise of Google's non-search businesses continue getting pushed into future even as the company's spending keeps rising. (You can read the full research report on Alphabet here >>)

Shares of Buy rated 3M have gained +8.4% over the last six months, outperforming the Zacks Diversified Operations industry, which has gained +5.7% over the same period. The Zacks analyst likes 3M's global footprint, diversified product portfolio and ability to penetrate different markets. During 2016–2020, 3M expects 8–11% growth in earnings per share driven by an organic sales growth of 2–5%. 3M is standardizing its business processes through a new, global ERP system and expects $500 to $700 million in annual operational savings by 2020. The company has offered a relatively healthy guidance for 2017 and expects GAAP earnings to be $8.45–$8.80 per share, representing year-over-year growth of 4–8%. However, the company is facing increased pension expenses as its workforce begins to retire. In addition, the company is susceptible to high commodity price risks. (You can read the full research report on 3M here >>)

Procter & Gamble shares outperformed the Zacks Consumer Staples sector in the past year (+9.8% vs. +3.5%) on the back of improved organic sales and improving margins as a result of productivity gains and cost-saving efforts. Also, P&G shares have outperformed the S&P 500 index in the year-to-date period (up +7.9% vs +5.3%). P&G’s quarterly results exceeded expectations. On the flip side, the Zacks analyst points to mature end markets and the negative impact of the strong U.S. dollar as some of the headwinds for the stock. Also, flat pricing/mix is reflective of increased competition and lack of transformational innovation. The company also lost global market share in three of its five reporting segments. (You can read the full research report on Procter & Gamble here >>)

Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Philip Morris (PM), Ford (F) and Barclays (BCS).

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Sheraz Mian

Director of Research

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

Alphabet (GOOGL) Grows on Innovation and Diversification

3M (MMM) Well Positioned for Healthy Organic Growth

Procter & Gamble's (PG) Cost Saving Plans Impress, Fx Woes Stay

Featured Reports

BioDelivery's (BDSI) Q4 Loss Wider; Key Drugs Hit by Generics

Though sales force consolidation is expected to drive results, generic competition may hurt the same, believes the Zacks analyst.

Barclays (BCS) Streamlining Efforts to Support Profitability

The covering analyst thinks Barclays' efforts to streamline and simplify operations continue leading to lower costs, thereby supporting profitability.

Williams-Sonoma (WSM) Tops Q4 Earnings, Weak Comps Continue

The Zacks analyst thinks comparable brand revenues have been sluggish due to soft retail environment and cautious customers.

Rogers Comm. (RCI) Wireless Services Bode Well, Risks Stay

The covering analyst thinks despite competitive wireless and cable TV industry, Rogers Communications continues to be the first Canadian wireless operator that offers three Internet of Things services.

Welltower (HCN) Aims at Bolstering Portfolio Amid Rate Hike

The Zacks analyst thinks Welltower's diverse portfolio and strategic investments augur well. However, rate hike is a concern for the company having high exposure to long-term leased assets.

RCM Holds Promise, Competition Hurts Cerner's (CERN)Growth

The Zacks analyst believes that Cerner has growth opportunities in the revenue Revenue Cycle Management (RCM) suite of solutions.

Stanley Black (SWK) Poised to Grow on Inorganic Activities

Stanley Black hiked its 2017-earnings guidance, driven by earnings accretions expected from Newell Tools and Craftsman Brand buyouts.

New Upgrades

Philip Morris (PM) Invests on Heatsticks; Raises FY View

The Zacks analyst thinks Philip Morris' focus on Heatsticks is reflected by an investment of ???300 million for a manufacturing plant for IQOS. It raised fiscal 2017 view to reflect lower currency woes.

Quest Diagnostics (DGX) Grows Solid on Tests & Latest Tie-Up

The covering analyst is bullish about Quest's strong growth in esoteric testing, prescription drug monitoring and wellness business. Its latest tie-Up with Ancestry and IBM is also a positive

Baker Hughes' (BHI) Solid Portfolio to Fuel Growth

The Zacks analyst believes that Baker Hughes' strong portfolio of products and services should help it post better-than-average results over the long term in North America.

New Downgrades

Ford (F) Downgraded on Weak First-Quarter Guidance

Ford provided weak guidance for first-quarter 2017. The Zacks analyst thinks the company faces many concerns including regional challenges, increasing costs and recalls, and high investment plans.

Arthur J. Gallagher's (AJG) Rising Expenses Remain a Concern

The covering analyst thinks that Arthur J. Gallagher's rising expenses will continue to have a negative impact on the operating margin. Also, foreign exchange volatility is expected to impact results.

General Dynamics (GD) Hurt by Competition & Falling Orders

The Zacks analyst believes that as General Dynamics operates in a highly competitive market, it may lose out to its competitors in case it fails to keep upgrading its technologies.

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Philip Morris International Inc (PM): Free Stock Analysis Report
Procter & Gamble Company (The) (PG): Free Stock Analysis Report
3M Company (MMM): Free Stock Analysis Report
Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL): Free Stock Analysis Report
Ford Motor Company (F): Free Stock Analysis Report
Barclays PLC (BCS): Free Stock Analysis Report
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