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Top Stock Reports for Microsoft, Anthem & Uber

Sheraz Mian
·6 mins read

Wednesday, September 30, 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 Microsoft (MSFT), Anthem (ANTM) and Uber Technologies (UBER). 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 >>>

Microsoft shares have outperformed the S&P 500 in the year to date period (+31.4% vs. +3.6%). The Zacks analyst believes that Microsoft is benefiting from momentum in Azure, impressive Teams user growth triggered by coronavirus crisis led work-from-home, online learning wave and tele healthcare trends.

Solid uptake of Surface devices and Xbox Game Pass aided growth. The company is also gaining from growing user base of its different applications including Office 365 commercial, and Dynamics. Moreover, Azure’s expanding customer base is a key catalyst. Furthermore, it is well poised to expand the total addressable market through acquisitions of GitHub and ZeniMax Media.

However, macroeconomic weakness in job market and lower spend on advertising due to coronavirus pandemic are likely to weigh on LinkedIn and Search revenues. Also, delays in consulting business are anticipated to limit growth.

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

Shares of Anthem have gained +9% over the past year against the Zacks Medical Insurance industry’s rise of +27.6%. The Zacks analyst believes that Anthem’s prudent acquisitions and collaborations complement its inorganic growth profile and help it boost Medicare Advantage growth.

The company is the fourth largest individual Medicare Advantage plan in the nation. Its increasing top line, driven by premium rate increase and higher membership, paves the way for long-term growth. Its solid guidance also impresses. It witnessed a rise of usage of its Telehealth and virtual care services.

Furthermore, its strong capital and cash position has enabled it to undertake shareholder-friendly moves via dividend payouts and share repurchases. However, it has been suffering from high benefit costs and selling, general and administrative expense, which continues to weigh on its bottom line.

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

Uber shares have gained +26.9% over the past six months against the Zacks Internet-Services industry’s rise of +36.8%. The Zacks analyst believes that Uber’s Delivery business is witnessing continued surge at a time when coronavirus is restricting people to their homes.

Gross bookings and revenues at the segment rose significantly in the first half of 2020. The company’s efforts to expand its Delivery business are laudable. In this regard, the deal to buy Postmates is a major positive. Additionally, we are optimistic about the court ruling granting Uber an 18-month license extension to continue operations in London, one of its key international markets.

However, significant downturn in the Mobility business is concerning. Although ride volumes have improved from April lows, it is way below year-ago levels. Notably, Uber now expects to reap profits in 2021, instead of 2020.

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

Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), Automatic Data Processing (ADP) and Ecolab (ECL).

The Hottest Tech Mega-Trend of All

Last year, it generated $24 billion in global revenues. By 2020, it's predicted to blast through the roof to $77.6 billion. Famed investor Mark Cuban says it will produce "the world's first trillionaires," but that should still leave plenty of money for regular investors who make the right trades early.

See Zacks' 3 Best Stocks to Play This Trend >>

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

Microsoft (MSFT) Rides on Robust Adoption of Azure & Teams

Strategic Initiatives Aid Anthem (ANTM), Rising Costs Hurt

Delivery Business Aids Uber (UBER) Amid Mobility Weakness

Featured Reports

AMD Rides on Robust 7 nm Product Portfolio & Partnerships

Per the Zacks analyst, Advanced Micro Devices is benefiting from the strong adoption of the latest 7 nm based EYPC and Ryzen processors.

Automatic Data Processing (ADP) Benefits From Celergo Buyout

The Zacks analyst believes that the Celergo acquisition is helping Automatic Data Processing to strengthen the customer base and expand operations in international markets.

Global Healthcare Unit Aids Ecolab (ECL) Amid Competition

Ecolab gains ground on solid prospects in the Global Healthcare Unit. However, the Zacks Analyst is pessimistic about cutthroat competition in Chemical Specialty markets.

Solid Loan Growth Aids Truist Financial (TFC) Amid Low Rates

Per the Zacks analyst, robust loan growth and focus on fee income sources bode well for Truist Financial.

Strategic Alliances to Drive Honda (HMC) Amid Weak Demand

While collaborations with General Motors and GAC Group are likely to buoy Honda's e-mobility prospects, coronavirus-led sluggish vehicle demand is hurting near-term profits, per the Zacks analyst

Cummins' (CMI) Innovative Hydrogen Technology to Aid Profits

The Zacks analyst is optimistic about Cummins' efforts to ramp up its capabilities in fuel cell and hydrogen production technology.

McCormick (MKC) Gains From Coronavirus-Induced Demand

Per the Zacks analyst, McCormick (MKC) is gaining from demand due to coronavirus-led higher at-home consumption.

New Upgrades

Favorable Demand, Acquisitions Aid International Paper (IP)

The Zacks analyst appreciates International Paper's strategy to grow through acquisitions and believes it will gain on demand for essential products and e-commerce activities amid the pandemic.

Solid Product Demand & E-Commerce Business Aids iRobot (IRBT)

Per the Zacks analyst, iRobot (IRBT) is benefiting from solid demand for its products, especially Roomba and Braava. Also, surge in e-commerce business is aiding the top line.

Charles River (CRAI) Rides on Diversified Business Model

The Zacks analyst believes that business diversification helps reduce Charles River's dependence on any specific industry and increases the company's ability to adapt to changing conditions.

New Downgrades

Exposure to Catastrophe Loss, Rising Expenses Hurt Chubb (CB)

Per the Zacks analyst, Chubb's performance is likely to be affected given its exposure to catastrophe loss inducing volatility in its underwriting results and rising expenses weighing on margin.

Health Care Services Aid Fresenius (FMS), Competition Rife

Fresenius Medical gains from Health Care Services and Health Care Product units. However, the Zacks Analyst is pessimistic about cutthroat competition in the niche market of dialysis products.

Weak Advanced Markets Revenues Hurts MKS Instruments (MKSI)

Per the Zacks analyst, university and research lab closures due to coronavirus outbreak negatively impact MKS Instruments' advanced market segment revenues.

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
Uber Technologies, Inc. (UBER) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Ecolab Inc. (ECL) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Anthem, Inc. (ANTM) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Automatic Data Processing, Inc. (ADP) : Free Stock Analysis Report
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