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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Exxon Mobil, AbbVie, Caterpillar, Deere & Co and MetLife

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Zacks Equity Research
·6 min read
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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – February 10, 2021 – 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: Exxon Mobil Corporation XOM, AbbVie Inc. ABBV, Caterpillar Inc. CAT, Deere & Company DE and MetLife, Inc. MET.

Here are highlights from Tuesday’s Analyst Blog:

Q4 Earnings Season Scorecard and Analyst Reports for Exxon, AbbVie and Caterpillar

The Zacks Research Daily presents the best research output of our analyst team. Today's Research Daily features a real-time take on the ongoing Q4 earnings season, in addition to featuring new research reports on 16 major stocks, including Exxon Mobil, AbbVie and Caterpillar. 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 >>>

Q4 Earnings Season Scorecard (As of Feb. 9th)

Including all of this morning's results, we now have Q4 reports from 315 S&P 500 members or 63% of the index's total membership. Total earnings for these companies are up +4.7% from the same period last year on +3% higher revenues, with 80.6% beating EPS estimates and 79% beating revenue estimates.

This is a better showing relative to what we saw from the same group of 315 index members in the first three quarters of 2020.

Looking at Q4 as a whole, combining the actual results from these 315 index members with estimates for the still-to-come companies, total earnings are on track to be up +2.2% from the same period last year on +2.5% higher revenues. This would follow the back-to-back declines in the first three quarters of 2020, primarily reflecting the Covid impact on corporate profitability.

The tone and substance of guidance and management commentary remains positive, which is helping push estimates for the current (2021 Q1) and coming quarters higher. Total S&P 500 earnings for 2021 Q1 are expected to be up +17% from the same period last year on +4.6% higher revenues. The current +17% earnings growth in Q1 is up from +12.6% at the start of January and +11.7% in early December 2020.  

Shares of Exxon Mobil have gained +17% in the last six months against the Zacks Oil and Gas - Integrated - International industry's gain of +11.1% on the back of an improving commodity-price environment. The Zacks analyst believes that ExxonMobil's bellwether status in the energy space, optimal integrated capital structure that has historically produced industry-leading returns and management's track record of capex discipline across the commodity price cycle make it a relatively lower-risk energy sector play.

Notably, the company estimates gross recoverable resources of nearly 9 billion oil-equivalent barrels from offshore Guyana discoveries. Moreover, ExxonMobil can combat the coronavirus pandemic-induced volatile crude pricing environment since it can rely on its strong balance sheet. However, lower refining margin has been hurting the firm's downstream operations.

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

AbbVie shares have outperformed the Zacks Large Cap Pharmaceuticals industry over the past year (+12.8% vs. +2.6%), banking on the company's key drug, Humira that continues to see strong demand trends in the United States. Moreover, AbbVie has been successful in expanding labels of its cancer drugs, Imbruvica and Venclexta. It has an impressive late-stage pipeline. Its two new immunology drugs Skyrizi and Rinvoq, have performed beyond expectations in 2020.

However, sales erosion due to direct biosimilar competition to Humira in international markets is a big headwind. Also, the decline in HCV drug Mavyret's sales is a concern. Nonetheless, estimates have gone up slightly ahead of Q4 earnings. AbbVie has a positive record of earnings surprise in the recent quarters.

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

Shares of Caterpillar have gained +47% over the past year against the Zacks Manufacturing - Construction and Mining industry's gain of +46.6%. In fact, Caterpillar expects first-quarter 2021 results to reflect stronger year-over-year sales to users and dealer restocking. The Zacks analyst believes that growth in the first-quarter 2021 will be led by Construction Industries. Margins are expected to improve sequentially in the ongoing quarter aided by the company's cost control efforts despite a headwind of around $225 million due to reinstatement of incentive compensation.

Overall in 2021, Caterpillar's results are expected to improve aided by strong demand in China, pickup in manufacturing activity, strength in residential construction in the United States, strong construction demand in Brazil as well as better mining fundamentals. However, heavy construction and quarry and aggregate markets remain uncertain.

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

Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Deere & Co. and MetLife.

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 77 billion devices by 2025, creating a $1.3 trillion market.

Zacks has just released a Special Report that spotlights this fast-emerging phenomenon and 4 tickers for taking advantage of it. If you don't buy now, you may kick yourself in 2022.

Click here for the 4 trades >>

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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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Exxon Mobil Corporation (XOM) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Deere & Company (DE) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Caterpillar Inc. (CAT) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
MetLife, Inc. (MET) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
AbbVie Inc. (ABBV) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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