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Top Research Reports for December 29, 2016

Mark Vickery

Thursday, December 29 2016

Today's Research Daily features new research reports on 16 major stocks, including Wells Fargo (WFC), Danaher (DHR) and Colgate-Palmolive (CL).

Shares of Buy rated Wells Fargo have gained 1.8% year to date, underperforming the Zacks Banks - Major Regional sector which has gained 21.4% over the same period. Wells Fargo has long maintained a reputation for disciplined and reliable operations and an attractive retail banking franchise. Regrettably, the sales practices controversy has taken center stage and cost the well regarded CEO his position.

However, the new management team is making all the right moves and further downside risks in the stock are low at this stage. Though it will likely take a while for clouds to fully lifted, continued growth in loans and deposits and expansion moves should support its growth profile (You can read the full research report on Wells Fargo here.)

Danaher shares have declined 15.9% year to date, underperforming the Zacks Diversified Operations sector, which has gained 7.8% over the same period. Its shares have struggled lately on concerns about its business repositioning that involved greater exposure to the healthcare and environmental verticals following the Fortive spin-off. The analyst points out that the new Danaher is less exposed to volatile end-markets following the spin-off and has a more recurring revenue business.

On the flip side, sluggish economic conditions across some key operating regions and unfavorable currency translations pose as significant headwinds. (You can read the full research report on Danaher here.)

Colgate-Palmolive shares have slipped 1.5% year to date, underperforming the Zacks Soap and Cleaning Materials sector, which has gained 1.4% over the same period. The analyst likes its product innovation, globally recognized brands and presence in both developed and emerging economies. The company anticipates delivering robust organic sales growth, backed by new products across categories and geographical regions.

However, as the company derives 75% of its revenues from operations outside the U.S., it expects macroeconomic headwinds and currency woes to linger and weigh on its top and bottom lines in 2016. (You can read the full research report on Colgate-Palmolive here.)

Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Zoetis (ZTS), STERIS (STE) and Aetna (AET).

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Mark Vickery

Senior Editor

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Today's Must Read

Wells Fargo (WFC) Exhibits Organic Growth; Raises Prime Rate

Danaher (DHR) Hit by Academic & Industrial Market Weaknesses

Colgate's (CL) Strategies on Track, Currency Woes Persist

Featured Reports

Foot Locker's (FL) Strategic Endeavors Bode Well

The Zacks analyst thinks strategic efforts like cost containment, shop-in-shop expansion, store refurbishment and merchandise enhancement help it sustain in a competitive retail landscape.

Oil Volatility Clouds National Oilwell Varco (NOV) Outlook

While NOV's cost reduction efforts and large installed base of rigs bode well, the covering analyst would prefer to wait for further oil price recovery before recommending investors purchase shares.

O'Reilly (ORLY) Set to Grow Despite Geographic Concentration

While strong distribution network, dual-market strategy, rapid store expansion and active share repurchase are growth drivers, concentrated store locations make O'Reilly vulnerable to regional issues.

Citizens Financial (CFG) Raises Prime Rate, Cost Woes Linger

The Zacks analyst thinks ongoing efficiency initiatives and increase in prime lending rate are likely to bolster the company's growth profile.

Lam Research (LRCX) Memory, Foundry & Logic Segments Strong

The covering analyst believes that Lam's exposure to memory manufacturers and opportunity in logic and foundry segments are positives.

Aetna (AET) Continues to Grow, Merger Remains Uncertain

The Zacks analyst believes Aetna will grow on cost cutting efforts, strong Government biz and solid balance sheet.

Itau Unibanco (ITUB) Poised for Growth on Strategic Move

The covering analyst thinks inorganic growth remained a key strength at Itau Unibanco, as reflected by its recent acquisition of BMG Consignado.

New Upgrades

Zoetis' (ZTS) Cost Reduction Initiatives to Drive Growth

The Zacks analyst believes that Zoetis' comprehensive operational efficiency initiatives will drive the company's margins and generate cost savings of over $300 million by 2017 end.

Eversource Energy's (ES) Investments Aid Customer Retention

Eversource Energy's systematic investments in infrastructure development projects, primarily in transmission and distribution systems, will help it to provide reliable services and retain customers.

BB&T (BBT) Poised for Growth, Raises Prime Lending Rate

The Zacks analyst remains encouraged by BB&T's strategic moves and rising loans and deposits that fuels its growth profile. Also, the recent hike in its prime lending rate will boost revenue growth.

New Downgrades

Hanesbrands' (HBI) Activewear Soft; Brand Loses Share

The Zacks analyst thinks Hanesbrands faces headwinds like soft sales in Activewear segment and declining share of its Champion brand. The focus on premium items is detrimental to sales.

STERIS' (STE) Narrow '17 Outlook Signals Gloomy State Ahead

The covering analyst thinks STERIS may be hit by lowered revenue guidance for fiscal 2017. Also regulations to curb healthcare cost have been putting pressure on the stock.

Wyndham (WYN) Revenues Hit by Economic & Currency Woes

The Zacks analyst believes that revenue growth at Wyndham might be restricted because of the lingering political uncertainty in key international markets and significant currency headwinds.

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ZOETIS INC (ZTS): Free Stock Analysis Report
WELLS FARGO-NEW (WFC): Free Stock Analysis Report
STERIS PLC (STE): Free Stock Analysis Report
DANAHER CORP (DHR): Free Stock Analysis Report
COLGATE PALMOLI (CL): Free Stock Analysis Report
AETNA INC-NEW (AET): Free Stock Analysis Report
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