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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Facebook, Comcast, AbbVie, Union Pacific and Air Products

Zacks Equity Research
Facebook's (FB) second-quarter 2019 results are likely to benefit from aggressive video push, improving ad transparency and increasing monetization opportunities on Instagram.

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – May 1, 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 Facebook FB, Comcast CMCSA, AbbVie ABBV, Union Pacific UNP and Air Products APD.

Here are highlights from Tuesday’s Analyst Blog:

Top Stock Reports for Facebook, Comcast and AbbVie

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 Facebook, Comcast and AbbVie. 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 >>>

Buy-ranked Facebook’s shares have gained +48.6% year to date, outperforming the S&P 500’s increase of +17.1% during the same period. Facebook reported impressive first-quarter 2019 results, driven by solid mobile ad revenues that benefited from impression growth on both Instagram Stories and Feed, and Facebook News Feed.

Asia-Pacific remained the company’s fastest growing market, driven by user growth in India, Indonesia and the Philippines. The Zacks analyst thinks that although focus on security will likely negatively impact some advertisers’ ability to run legitimate ads on the platform, Stories are increasingly becoming an important growth opportunity for advertisers.

Interactive Stories Ads on Instagram are expected to improve interaction among people, businesses and advertisers. Further, the Checkout feature on Instagram is part of Facebook’s e-commerce endeavors. However, continued mix shift toward Stories is expected to hurt ARPU. Increasing regulatory headwinds are also a concern.

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

Shares of Buy-ranked Comcast have outperformed the Zacks Cable Television industry in the past year, gaining +35.5% vs. +23%. Comcast’s first-quarter 2019 results benefited from solid growth in the number of residential high-speed Internet customers.

The Zacks analyst thinks the company’s strategy to market broadband-only packages to customers is benefiting top-line growth. Further, expanding Wi-Fi coverage along with innovative xFi control features is improving customer experience.

The company’s Xfinity Mobile is now used by more than one million customers. Wireless revenues also grew strongly in the quarter, driven by expanding customer base. Further, the Sky acquisition expanded Comcast’s international reach. Sky’s content strength is a major growth driver. However, the company continues to lose voice and video subscribers due to cord-cutting and stiff competition. Additionally, its high debt level is a headwind.

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

Buy-ranked AbbVie’s shares have gained +3.1% in the past six months, outperforming the Zacks Large-Cap Pharmaceuticals industry's decline of -0.4%. AbbVie beat estimates for both earnings and sales in the first quarter. The Zacks analyst thinks AbbVie’s key drug, Humira is seeing robust growth in the United States based on strong demand trends despite new competition.

Moreover, Imbruvica has multibillion dollar potential. Mavyret has become a significant contributor to sales in a short time on the market. AbbVie has also been successful in expanding approvals for its cancer drugs, Imbruvica and Venclexta.

AbbVie has an impressive late-stage pipeline comprising several products with multibillion-dollar potential expected to be launched in the near term. Sales erosion due to direct biosimilar competition to Humira in international markets will be a big headwind in 2019. Also, costs to support expected new product/line extension launches should hurt profits in 2019.

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

Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Union Pacific and Air Products.

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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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Union Pacific Corporation (UNP) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Facebook, Inc. (FB) : Free Stock Analysis Report
AbbVie Inc. (ABBV) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Comcast Corporation (CMCSA) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. (APD) : Free Stock Analysis Report
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