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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Cisco, NIKE, United Parcel, General Mills and WellCare

Zacks Equity Research
The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Cisco, NIKE, United Parcel, General Mills and WellCare

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL –March 26, 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: Cisco CSCO, NIKE NKE, United Parcel Service UPS, General Mills GIS and WellCare Health WCG.

Here are highlights from Monday’s Analyst Blog:

Top Stock Reports for Cisco, Nike and UPS

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 Cisco, NIKE and United Parcel Service. 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-ranked Cisco's shares have gained +19.7% in the past year, outperforming the Zacks Computer Networking industry's increase of +17.3%. The Zacks analyst thinks Cisco is benefiting from strength witnessed in the company’s security, Infrastructure Platforms and applications segments. Order strength and improving traction of the subscription-based model are other tailwinds.

A strengthening collaboration portfolio, which now includes Webex Teams and Accompany, bodes well. Further, buyout of Duo Security and Luxtera is expected to aid the company in expanding its IT and data center clientele. Moreover, robust adoption of company’s Wave 2 offerings, Meraki solutions, Catalyst 9000 switching platform and HyperFlex data-center solutions hold promise.

Nevertheless, weakness in routing is a headwind. Competition from Arista primarily in campus connect network switches market is likely to hurt Cisco as it holds a dominant position in that domain.

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

Shares of Nike have gained +24.8% in the past year, outperforming the Zacks Shoes and Retail Apparel industry, which gained +19.6% over the same period, driven by a robust surprise trend, stemming from the execution of Consumer Direct Offense. Nike delivered positive earnings results for over three years now, with third-quarter fiscal 2019 marking the 27th straight quarter of earnings beat. Sales surpassed estimates for the eighth straight quarter.

The Zacks analyst thinks strong progress on Consumer Direct Offense through innovation and focus on digital transformation are the key drivers. Growth at international and NIKE Direct businesses aided results in the fiscal third quarter.

However, the company provided a soft view for the fiscal fourth quarter, owing to unfavorable currency impact. Higher SG&A expenses due to increased investments are likely to remain a drag. Further, higher input costs like cotton, chemicals and labor as well as the shift in supply-chain investments from the fiscal third quarter to the fourth quarter should hurt results.

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

United Parcel Service’s shares have outperformed the Zacks Transportation - Air Freight and Cargo industry over the past year, gaining +3.5% vs. -10%. The Zacks analyst likes UPS' efforts to reward its shareholders through dividends and buybacks.

Evidently, the company rewarded its shareholders to the tune of $4.2 billion in 2018. Continuing its pro-investor approach, in February 2019, UPS increased its quarterly dividend by 5.5% to 96 cents per share. Robust free cash flow generation by UPS supports the possibility of a dividend hike moving ahead. Moreover, UPS’ growth is hugely supported by the e-commerce development. The company anticipates cross-border e-commerce volume to grow by 28% over the next three years.

However, the company's high capital expenditure is limiting bottom-line growth. Trade-war related uncertainty and high debt pose further challenges.

(You can read the full research report on United Parcel Service here >>>).

Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include General Mills and WellCare Health.

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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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Cisco Systems, Inc. (CSCO) : Free Stock Analysis Report
General Mills, Inc. (GIS) : Free Stock Analysis Report
WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (WCG) : Free Stock Analysis Report
NIKE, Inc. (NKE) : Free Stock Analysis Report
United Parcel Service, Inc. (UPS) : Free Stock Analysis Report
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