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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Amgen, Comcast, McDonald's, Waste Management and BB&T

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – October 30, 2017 – 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 Amgen AMGN, Comcast CMCSA, McDonald's MCD, Waste Management WM and BB&T BBT.

Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of the Day pick for free.

Here are highlights from Friday’s Analyst Blog:

Top Stock Reports for Amgen, Comcast and McDonalds

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 Amgen, Comcast and McDonald's. 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-rated Amgen’s shares have gained +20.7% year to date, outperforming the Zacks Biomedical and Genetics industry, which has gained +3.7% over the same period. Amgen beat expectations for both earnings and sales in the third quarter of 2017 and raised its earnings guidance for 2017 supported by effective cost management.

Amgen’s newer drugs – Prolia, Xgeva, Vectibix, Nplate and Sensipar – are performing well. Amgen is also progressing with its pipeline including biosimilar drugs. Additionally, the Zacks analyst thinks Amgen’s restructuring plan is making it leaner and more cost efficient.

However, the company has some challenges in store, given the presence of biosimilar competition and slowdown in sales of mature drugs. While Neupogen is already facing U.S. biosimilar competition, Neulasta and Epogen could start facing the same next year.

Also the softness in Enbrel sales due to stiff competitive and pricing pressure is a key cause for concern. Meanwhile, uptake of key new drug Repatha has been slow due to payer restrictions.

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

Shares of Comcast have lost -8.2% over the last three months, during which the Zacks Cable Television industry has declined -10.4%. Comcast posted mixed third-quarter 2017 financial results. Comcast completed the nationwide rollout of its wireless services under the Xfinity Mobile brand, with plans to include YouTube in its X1 video platform.

The company is venturing into residential solar programs with a 40-month deal with Sunrun. Comcast is working towards 5G network deployment and continues to roll out its DOCSIS 3.1-based internet services to Comcast Business customers. Comcast continues to expand its theme park business.

With this, Comcast aims to check customer churn and provide viewers with more streaming options. However, tough competition, consolidation-related woes, mounting programming costs, loss of customer base act as near-term risks for Comcast. Comcast lost 94,000 voice customers and 1,25,000 video customers in the third-quarter 2017 due to cord-cutting.

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

McDonald's shares have gained +5.2% over the last three months, outperforming the Zacks Restaurants industry which has gained +2.6% over the same period. McDonald’s third-quarter adjusted earnings of $1.76 per share beat expectations and rose year over year. Total revenue declined year of year due to refranchising and lagged the consensus mark.

Meanwhile, Q3 marked the ninth consecutive quarter of global comps growth and third consecutive quarter of comparable guest count growth for McDonald’s. The Zacks analyst likes the fact that McDonald’s is trying to reinforce its position worldwide via various sales and digital initiatives. Also, increased focus on refranchising is expected to reduce its capital requirements, thereby facilitating EPS growth and ROE expansion in the long run.

Yet higher costs along with currency headwinds may hurt profits. Also, a soft industry backdrop in the United States and macroeconomic concerns in some parts of the world might limit sales growth.

(You can read the full research report on McDonald's here >>>).

Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Waste Management and BB&T.

Wall Street’s Next Amazon

Zacks EVP Kevin Matras believes this familiar stock has only just begun its climb to become one of the greatest investments of all time. It’s a once-in-a-generation opportunity to invest in pure genius.

Click for details >

Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1 Stock of the Day pick for free.

About Zacks Equity Research

Zacks Equity Research provides the best of quantitative and qualitative analysis to help investors know what stocks to buy and which to sell for the long-term.

Continuous coverage is provided for a universe of 1,150 publicly traded stocks. Our analysts are organized by industry which gives them keen insights to developments that affect company profits and stock performance. Recommendations and target prices are six-month time horizons.

Strong Stocks that Should Be in the News

Many are little publicized and fly under the Wall Street radar. They're virtually unknown to the general public. Yet today's 220 Zacks Rank #1 "Strong Buys" were generated by the stock-picking system that has nearly tripled the market from 1988 through 2015. Its average gain has been a stellar +26% per year.See these high-potential stocks free >>.

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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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BB&T Corporation (BBT) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Comcast Corporation (CMCSA) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Amgen Inc. (AMGN) : Free Stock Analysis Report
McDonald's Corporation (MCD) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Waste Management, Inc. (WM) : Free Stock Analysis Report
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