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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Exxon Mobil, United Parcel Service, Facebook, Toyota Motor and Yum! Brands

Zacks Equity Research

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL –March 08, 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 include Exxon Mobil (NYSE: XOM – Free Report ), United Parcel Service (NYSE: UPS – Free Report ), Facebook (NASDAQ: FB – Free Report ), Toyota Motor (NYSE: TM – Free Report ) and Yum! Brands (NYSE: YUM – Free Report ).

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Here are highlights from Tuesday’s Analyst Blog:

Top Stock Reports for Facebook, UPS, Exxon and Others

Today's Research Daily features new research reports on 16 major stocks, including Exxon Mobil (NYSE: XOM – Free Report ), United Parcel Service (NYSE: UPS – Free Report ) and Facebook (NASDAQ: FB – Free Report ).

Exxon Mobil shares tracked the S&P 500 index through year-end 2016, but have lagged the broader index as well as the peer super majors group in the year-to-date period, likely reflecting the company's perceived defensiveness that disadvantages it relative to its 'oilier' peers. Exxon's resilient integrated business model has long been the industry gold standard, which makes it an attractive and relatively low-risk Energy sector option for many investors. ExxonMobil has been investing in new refining and chemical manufacturing facilities along the U.S. Gulf Coast to enhance manufacturing and export capacity. The company started investing in 2013 and anticipates to continue investing through 2022. The company is likely to spend $20 billion over a 10-year span. A fortress balance sheet, an attractive and totally safe dividend and a history of returning excess cash to shareholders are some of the other positives in the Exxon story. The Zacks analyst discusses the pros & cons of investing in Exxon shares in the updated research report issued today. (You can read the full research report on Exxon Mobil here >> )

UPS shares gained only +5.5% in the last one year, significantly underperforming the Zacks Transportation-Air Freight industry that recorded a +15.4% increase. Shares of the Hold-rated UPS have lagged those of rival FedEx, which appreciated +36.1% in the same time span. A big part of the stock's underperformance started following the company's weak Q4 results in late January that showed higher costs of package deliveries during the holiday rush. The company's disappointing view for full-year 2017 has also been a big dampener. On the flip side, the Zacks analyst likes the company’s decision to hike its quarterly dividend and efforts to expand operations. On the valuation front, while UPS's forward 12-month P/E multiple has come down following the stock's post-Q4 results sell off, it still trades at a premium to peer FedEx. (You can read the full research report on United Parcel Service here >> )

Facebook shares lagged the S&P 500 index following the election, but have more than made up for that underperformance since the start of 2017 - the stock is up +19.6% in the year-to-date period vs. +6.3% gain for the index in that time period. Helping the stock's recent momentum has been the strong fourth quarter earnings report where it beat expectations on the back of live video, mobile and other key areas. Despite strong results, Facebook, as expected, maintained a cautious stance on future growth prospects. Perhaps far more important to the market is the long-term opportunity for Facebook through monetization of key properties like Instagram, Messenger, WhatsApp and Oculus. The prospect of higher engagement levels of its a huge user base is another key positive in the Facebook story. The company is also dabbling in AR/VR and AI technologies, which also bode well for growth. (You can read the full research report on Facebook here >> )

Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Toyota Motor (NYSE: TM – Free Report ) and Yum! Brands (NYSE: YUM – Free Report ).

Zacks' Top 10 Stocks for 2017

In addition to the stocks discussed above, would you like to know about our 10 finest buy-and-hold tickers for the entirety of 2017?

Who wouldn't? Last year's market-beating Top 10 portfolio produced 5 double-digit winners. For example, oil and natural gas giant Pioneer Natural Resources and First Republic Bank racked up stellar gains of +44.9% and +44.3% respectively. Now a brand-new list for 2017 has been hand-picked from 4,400 companies covered by the Zacks Rank. See the 2017 Top 10 right now>>

About Zacks Equity Research

Zacks Equity Research provides the best of quantitative and qualitative analysis to help investors know what stocks to buy and which to sell for the long-term.

Continuous coverage is provided for a universe of 1,150 publicly traded stocks. Our analysts are organized by industry which gives them keen insights to developments that affect company profits and stock performance. Recommendations and target prices are six-month time horizons.

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 >>.

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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
United Parcel Service, Inc. (UPS): Free Stock Analysis Report
Facebook, Inc. (FB): Free Stock Analysis Report
Toyota Motor Corp Ltd Ord (TM): Free Stock Analysis Report
Yum! Brands, Inc. (YUM): Free Stock Analysis Report
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