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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Apple, Amazon.com, Adobe, Micron Technology and Intel

Zacks Equity Research
Investors need to pay close attention to Merck (MRK) stock based on the movements in the options market lately.

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL –August 13, 2018 – 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: Apple Inc. AAPL, Amazon.com, Inc. AMZN, Adobe Systems Incorporated ADBE, Micron Technology, Inc. MU and Intel Corporation INTC.

Here are highlights from Friday’s Analyst Blog:

Nasdaq Sees Best Stretch Since Last October: Top 5 Picks

The tech-laden Nasdaq Composite has been making a steady climb throughout this year, recently recording its longest winning stretch since last October by rising for the eighth straight session.

Thus, when it comes to equity markets, Silicon Valley is richer than ever and investing in Internet and technology companies and chipmakers makes more sense now. But, if their high valuations are a concern, trust their profits to rise higher in the days ahead.

Nasdaq Extends Winning Streak to 8th Session

The Nasdaq Composite index saw its eighth straight session of gains on Aug 9, a sign that investors are retaining their faith in high-flying tech stocks. The Nasdaq edged up 3.46 points to 7,891.78, just 41 points short of the record set last month.

Tech Earnings Solid

The Nasdaq, by the way, is synonymous with pricey tech stocks during the Internet boom of the late 1990s. Of late, however, the indexes rally has been fueled by tech companies posting solid growth in profits and revenues. Total earnings for the tech sector are up 35% on 12.9% higher revenues in the second quarter, with 89.7% beating earnings estimates and 87.2% trumping revenue expectations.

In any case, the overall tech sector is expected to notch double-digit gains this earnings season. And if that happens, it would be the fourth successive quarter that the Information Technology sector of the S&P 500 has produced earnings growth of 20% or more. Lori Calvasina, head of U.S. equity strategy at RBC Capital Markets, had written to investors that “net buy ratings of major tech players remain extremely high relative to history.”

Government Policy, Fundamentals Encourage

The Republican tax overhaul policy is providing the much-needed windfall to tech companies. The extra cash from tax cuts is helping tech companies pursue merger and acquisition activities. The prospect of a cut in personal taxation is also a major driving force for tech firms. With more cash in hand, investors have more scope to invest. At the same time, Internet of Things, which connects various devices to the cloud, is expected to be a huge growth driver for tech majors.

Apple & Amazon Back Tech Sector

Many investors, in the meantime, are banking that further gains in the Nasdaq will be driven by tech behemoths Apple Inc. and Amazon.com, Inc. While Apple recently hit the $1-trillion market value, Amazon accounts for nearly half of U.S. online sales.

Apple became the world’s first trillion-dollar company after it reported strong earnings for the quarter ended Jun 30. It’s earnings per share grew 40% year over year and revenues increased 17%.

Amazon, in the meantime, came out with earnings for the quarter ended June 2018 of $5.07 per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.49. This compares to earnings of 40 cents per share a year ago. Net sales increased 39% year over year, with Amazon Web Services revenues totaling $6.11 billion, up 49% from the year-ago period.

5 Solid Picks

Investors, thus, should double down on the hottest tech stocks on the index as they continue to scale higher on favorable government policies and earnings strength. We have selected five such stocks that flaunt a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy).

Apple manufactures, and markets mobile communication and media devices, and personal computers. Currently, the company has a Zacks Rank #2. In the last 60 days, 10 earnings estimates moved north, while none moved south for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings rose 2.5% in the same period. The stock’s expected earnings growth rate for the current quarter and year are 32.9% and 26.8%, respectively (read more: Apple Stock Remains A Buy Even At New High).

Amazon.com engages in the retail sale of consumer products and subscriptions in North America and internationally. Currently, the company has a Zacks Rank #1. In the last 60 days, 18 earnings estimates moved north, while none moved south for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings soared 38.8% in the same period. The stock’s expected earnings growth rate for the current quarter and year are 517.3% and 279.6%, respectively.

Adobe Systems Incorporated operates as a diversified software company. The company currently has a Zacks Rank #2. In the last 60 days, 11 earnings estimates moved north, while none moved south for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings advanced 3.9% in the same period. The stock’s expected earnings growth rate for the current quarter and year are 52.7% and 54.1%, respectively. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Micron Technology, Inc. provides semiconductor systems. Currently, the company has a Zacks Rank #1. In the last 60 days, eight earnings estimates moved north, while none moved south for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings rose 1.6% in the same period. The stock’s expected earnings growth rate for the current quarter and year are 63.4% and 136.3%, respectively (read more: Micron's Blowout Earnings Drive Chipmakers: 5 Top Picks).

Intel Corporation manufactures, and sells computer, networking, data storage, and communication platforms. Currently, the company has a Zacks Rank #1. In the last 60 days, 15 earnings estimates moved north, while none moved south for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings rose 7.8% in the same period. The stock’s expected earnings growth rate for the current quarter and year are 13.9% and 19.4%, respectively. 

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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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