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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Amazon, 3M, Novartis, Schlumberger and ICICI

Zacks Equity Research
Improvement in ad business as well as blistering growth trajectory in the cloud and, grocery and apparel segments bode well for Amazon's first-quarter results.

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL –April 5, 2019 – Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include: Amazon AMZN, 3M MMM, Novartis NVS, Schlumberger SLB and ICICI Bank IBN.

Here are highlights from Thursday’s Analyst Blog:

Top Analyst Reports for Amazon, 3M and Novartis

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 Amazon, 3M and Novartis. 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-rankedAmazon’s shares have outperformed the broader market in the past year (the stock is up +25.4% vs. the +8% increase for the S&P 500 as a whole). The Zacks analyst thinks Amazon continues to ride on its ecommerce dominance. Its aggressive retail strategies, distribution strength and robust Prime remain the key catalysts.

Moreover, rapid adoption of Prime owing to its customer benefits and strengthening grocery services is driving its top-line growth. Further, the company’s growing brick and mortar presence is a tailwind. Additionally, Amazon’s continued momentum in AWS remains a major positive. Increasing AWS regions and its growing adoption will continue to aid Amazon’s cloud dominance.

However, first-quarter 2019 revenue guidance remains disappointing. Further, rising cloud competition from the likes of Microsoft Azure and Google cloud is a significant headwind. Heavy investment in fulfillment centers is another concern.

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

Shares of 3M have increased +11.7% in the past three months, underperforming the Zacks Diversified Operations industry, which has gained +18.7% over the same period. The Zacks analyst thinks 3M stands to gain from efforts to innovate products, solid demand and portfolio restructuring moves. Its acquisition of the technology business of M*Modal is likely to strengthen the Health Information Systems business in the months ahead.

The company is also steadily improving its cash position. In addition to this, 3M is on track to boost its shareholder return over time. However, for 2019, the company lowered the earnings projection from $10.60-$11.05 to $10.45-$10.90 per share and net sales growth guidance from 2-4% to 1-4%.

Foreign currency translation is predicted to adversely influence sales by 1%. In addition, inflation in prices of major inputs and rising competitive pressures pose threats to near-term profitability. Also, the company looks overvalued compared with the industry.

(You can read the full research report on 3M here >>>).

Novartis’ shares have outperformed the Zacks Large-Cap Pharmaceuticals industry (+17.2% vs. +13%), in the past year. The Zacks analyst likes Novartis’ strong oncology portfolio which includes drugs like Afinitor, Exjade, Jakavi, Zykadia, Tasigna, Jadenu and an improved formulation of Exjade.

New drugs like Cosentyx and Entresto continue to boost performance, while legacy drugs face stiff competition. The biosimilars portfolio has also gained traction. For Novartis, 2018 was a challenging year, as it restructured its business to focus on becoming a core drug-focused company, powered by data and digital technologies.

However, the generic division, Sandoz, continues to face pricing pressure in the United States. The division also suffered a blow when the FDA issued a CRL to its generic, Advair Diskus. Meanwhile, the company plans to spin-off its eye-care unit, Alcon, into a new company. The uptake of Kymriah and Kisqali has been slow.

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

Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Schlumberger and ICICI Bank.

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Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss. This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit https://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

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Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Novartis AG (NVS) : Free Stock Analysis Report
ICICI Bank Limited (IBN) : Free Stock Analysis Report
3M Company (MMM) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Schlumberger Limited (SLB) : Free Stock Analysis Report
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