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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights Costco Wholesale, AstraZeneca, Medtronic, Sony Group, and Applied Materials

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – April 11, 2022 – 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 Costco Wholesale Corp. COST, AstraZeneca PLC AZN, Medtronic plc MDT, Sony Group Corp. SONY, and Applied Materials, Inc. AMAT.

Here are highlights from Friday’s Analyst Blog:

Top Stock Reports for Costco, AstraZeneca and Medtronic

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 Costco Wholesale Corp., AstraZeneca PLC, and Medtronic plc. 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 Costco have outperformed the Zacks Retail - Discount Stores industry over the past year (+69.5% vs. +23.7%), reflecting the company's growth strategies, better price management, decent membership trend, and increasing penetration of e-commerce business. The strategy to sell products at discounted prices has helped draw customers seeking both value and convenience. These factors have been aiding in registering impressive sales and earnings numbers.

Costco put up a decent performance in second-quarter fiscal 2022, wherein both the top and the bottom lines improved year over year. Also, Costco has been witnessing stellar comps sales run. While the aforementioned factors raise optimism. However, supply chain bottlenecks and higher labor and freight costs remain concerns. Any deleverage in SG&A rate may hurt margins.

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

Shares of AstraZeneca have outperformed the Zacks Large Cap Pharmaceuticals industry over the past year (+47% vs. +38.5%). The Zacks analyst believes that the company's newer drugs, mainly cancer medicines, Lynparza, Tagrisso and Imfinzi should keep driving revenues. Its pipeline is strong with several phase III data readouts lined up. AstraZeneca has also engaged in external acquisitions and strategic collaborations to boost its pipeline while investing in geographic areas of high growth like emerging markets. Cost-cutting efforts should drive earnings.

The Alexion buyout strengthens its immunology franchise, adding several drugs that can boost its top line. However, AstraZeneca's diabetes franchise faces stiff competition while pricing pressure is hurting sales in the respiratory unit. Sales of some medicines are being hurt due to COVID-19. Sales are slowing down in key markets, China, due to pricing pressure.

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

Shares of Medtronic have outperformed the Zacks Medical - Products industry over the year-to-date period (+9.3% vs. -7.3%). Medtronic has registered organic growth in the Cardiovascular, Neuroscience and Diabetes segments. The company claims share gains in 60% of its businesses.

However, the sluggish top-line results reflect the unfavorable market impact of COVID-19 and health system labor shortages. CRDN sales decreased in the mid-single digits, given the impact of COVID-19 on PCI procedures. Also, there have been low double-digit organic declines in RGR with sales of ventilators declining in the high-fifties as demand returns to pre-pandemic levels.

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

Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Sony Group Corp., and Applied Materials, Inc.

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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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AstraZeneca PLC (AZN) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Medtronic PLC (MDT) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Costco Wholesale Corporation (COST) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Applied Materials, Inc. (AMAT) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Sony Corporation (SONY) : Free Stock Analysis Report
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