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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Citigroup, 3M, Walgreens Boots, Lockheed Martin and ConocoPhillips

Zacks Equity Research
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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – October 5, 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 includeCitigroup (NYSE: C – Free Report), 3M (NYSE: MMM – Free Report), Walgreens Boots (Nasdaq: WBA – Free Report), Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT – Free Report) and ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP – Free Report)

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

Here are highlights from Wednesday’s Analyst Blog:

Top Analyst Reports for Citigroup, 3M and Walgreens Boots

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 Citigroup (NYSE: C – Free Report), 3M (NYSE: MMM – Free Report) and Walgreens Boots (Nasdaq: WBA – Free Report). 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 >>>

Shares of Citigroup outperformed the Zacks Major Banks industry over the last six months, gaining +24.4% vs. +9.6%. This price performance is backed by impressive earnings surprise history. The company has surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in each of the trailing four quarters. The Zacks analyst believes that the company’s restructuring and streamlining efforts, strategic investments in core business and expense management, will likely support profitability, going forward.

Moreover, expansion of wealth management business in Australia will act as a tailwind. However, several issues including litigation burden keep us apprehensive.In spite of rising rates, margin is under pressure, due to persistent decline in the company’s legacy holdings portfolio. Notably, expected weak trading revenues on low volatility would be a major drag for profitability.

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

3M shares have gained +12.8% over the last six months, outperforming the Zacks Diversified Operations industry, which has declined -1.3% over the same period. 3M's global footprint, diversified product portfolio and the ability to penetrate in different markets have been its forte. The company is continuing with its portfolio restructuring efforts by divesting assets that no longer fit in its strategy and continues to make investments in other lucrative markets.

3M is standardizing its business processes through a new global ERP system for significant operational savings and has raised its guidance for 2017 on healthy growth dynamics. However, given its international presence, adverse foreign currency translations are likely to affect 3M’s ability to realize projected growth rates in sales and earnings.

Sustained strength in the U.S. dollar will negatively impact earnings, as exports consume a significant part of the operations. Increased pension expenses, commodity price risks and intense competitive pressure remain other headwinds.

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

Shares of Walgreens Boots have done better than the embattled Zacks Retail-Drug Stores industry over the last year (WBA is down -4.6% vs. decline of -9.5% for the peer group). The company finally gaining approval from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for the modified deal involving purchase of a number of Rite Aid store buoys optimism.

Although investors did not show much optimism regarding the company’s purchase of fewer-than-expected stores, the Zacks analyst believes that the deal’s financial outcome is pretty attractive. Moreover, this modified merger contract is expected to extend Walgreens’ growth strategy and offer additional operational benefits.

The analyst is also upbeat about Walgreens’ ‘Next Chapter plan’ through fiscal 2017 focusing on a multi-faceted cost-reduction initiative across the enterprise. On the flip side, slowdown in generic introduction continues to weigh upon the company’s margins. Also, tough competitive landscapes along with currency fluctuations continue to pose threats for the company.

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

Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT – Free Report) and ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP – Free Report).

Can Hackers Put Money INTO Your Portfolio?

Earlier this month, credit bureau Equifax announced a massive data breach affecting 2 out of every 3 Americans. The cybersecurity industry is expanding quickly in response to this and similar events. But some stocks are better investments than others.

Zacks has just released Cybersecurity! An Investor’s Guide to help Zacks.com readers make the most of the $170 billion per year investment opportunity created by hackers and other threats. It reveals 4 stocks worth looking into right away.

Download the new report now>>

More Stock News: This Is Bigger than the iPhone!

It could become the mother of all technological revolutions. Apple sold a mere 1 billion iPhones in 10 years but a new breakthrough is expected to generate more than 27 billion devices in just 3 years, creating a $1.7 trillion market.

Zacks has just released a Special Report that spotlights this fast-emerging phenomenon and 6 tickers for taking advantage of it. If you don't buy now, you may kick yourself in 2020.

Click here for the 6 trades >>

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 >>.

Get the full Report on C - FREE

Get the full Report on MMM - FREE

Get the full Report on WBA - FREE

Get the full Report on LMT - FREE

Get the full Report on COP - 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/performancefor information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

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Citigroup Inc. (C) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Lockheed Martin Corporation (LMT) : Free Stock Analysis Report
3M Company (MMM) : Free Stock Analysis Report
ConocoPhillips (COP) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (WBA) : Free Stock Analysis Report
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