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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Coca-Cola, United Technologies, Royal Dutch, Estee Lauder and Disney

Zacks Equity Research
Coca-Cola (KO) is likely to continue gaining from product launches, and focus on lifting and shifting successful brands globally in first-quarter 2019. However, currency headwinds may hurt results.

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL –April 17, 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: Coca-Cola KO, United Technologies UTX, Royal Dutch Shell RDS.A, Estee Lauder EL and Disney DIS.

Here are highlights from Tuesday’s Analyst Blog:

Top Research Reports for Coca-Cola, United Technologies and Royal Dutch-Shell

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 Coca-Cola, United Technologies and Royal Dutch Shell. 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 >>>

Coca-Cola’s shares have outperformed the Zacks Soft Drinks Beverages industry in the past year, (+4.9% vs. -6.1%), driven by its ongoing productivity efforts and disciplined growth strategies. This aided results in fourth-quarter 2018, wherein earnings were in line while sales beat estimates marginally.

Price/mix improvements due to core business strength also contributed to the solid results. The Zacks analyst thinks acceleration of sparkling soft drinks category through investment and innovation also bode well. Moreover, its transformative global re-franchising initiatives are expected to boost margins. However, the company issued a bleak earnings and sales view for 2019.

Notably, the company expects adverse currency rates to significantly hurt comparable revenues and operating income in the first quarter and 2019. Currency headwinds have persistently hurt the company’s results for the past few quarters, including fourth-quarter 2018. Further, emerging market volatility and soft CSD volumes continue to remain impediments.

(You can read the full research report on Coca-Cola here >>>).

Shares of United Technologies have gained +8.5% in the past year, outperforming the Zacks Diversified Operations industry, which has declined -0.1% over the same period. The Zacks analyst thinks strength in commercial and military aftermarket businesses and impressive contribution from its acquired Rockwell Collins business sales will likely boost United Technologies' near-term revenues.

Also, improved top line and cost-cutting measures are expected to enhance profitability, going forward. Backed by these positives, the company has given bullish full-year 2019 revenue guidance. In addition, it intends to become more competent on the back of meaningful business acquisitions.

However, rising costs of sales remain a concern for the company's gross margin. If unchecked, higher costs and operating expenses will prove detrimental to United Technologies' margins and profitability. Moreover, increases in debt levels can increase its financial obligations.

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

Royal Dutch Shell’s shares have lost -1% in the last six months, outperforming the Zacks Integrated Oil industry’s loss of -3.4% during the same period. Shell’s upstream unit profit has rebounded strongly thanks to steady commodity price recovery, while the integrated gas business — consisting of BG Group activities — impressed on the back of pricing gains.

The Zacks analyst thinks the Anglo-Dutch company's position as a key supplier of LNG should benefit its long-term cash flow growth. However, there are apprehensions that the group's disposal program could affect oil production, which fell 2% year over year in 2018.

The company’s poor reserve replacement ratio is another concern. Hence, investors are advised to wait for a better entry point before buying shares in the integrated major.

(You can read the full research report on Royal Dutch Shell here >>>).

Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Estee Lauder and Disney.

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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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The Walt Disney Company (DIS) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Coca-Cola Company (The) (KO) : Free Stock Analysis Report
The Estee Lauder Companies Inc. (EL) : Free Stock Analysis Report
United Technologies Corporation (UTX) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDS.A) : Free Stock Analysis Report
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