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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: IBM, McDonald's, Gilead, Phillips 66 and Lam Research

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Illumina (ILMN) delivered earnings and revenue surprises of 21.60% and 3.39%, respectively, for the quarter ended September 2018. Do the numbers hold clues to what lies ahead for the stock?

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – April 20, 2018 – 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 IBM IBM, McDonald's MCD, Gilead GILD, Phillips 66 PSX and Lam Research LRCX.

Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of the Day pick for free.

Here are highlights from Thursday’s Analyst Blog:

Top Research Reports for IBM, McDonalds and Gilead

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 IBM, McDonald's and Gilead. 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 >>>

IBM’s shares have underperformed the broader market on a year-to-date basis, losing -3% vs. the S&P 500’s +1.2% gain. IBM’s first-quarter 2018 results were unimpressive. Although revenues and earnings per share increased from the year-ago quarter, the growth rates reflected sluggishness. This can primarily be attributed to the company’s ongoing heavily time-consuming business model transition to cloud.

Additionally, intensifying competition is a major concern. Nevertheless, improving position in the cloud, security and analytics bodes well. Moreover, accretive acquisitions have expanded IBM’s product portfolio into higher-growth segments, such as Cloud computing and Big Data.

Further, expanding footprint in the rapidly growing blockchain market is positive. However, the Zacks analyst thinks these emerging fields as well as the strategic imperatives will take some more time to report meaningful growth and offset weakness in the traditional business.

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

Shares of McDonald's have gained +21.4% over the past year, outperforming the Zacks Restaurants industry which has gained +9.7% over the same period. Notably, growing guest count remains McDonald’s top priority and it is undertaking various sales and digital initiatives to this end. Increased focus on delivery, enhancement of digital capabilities, and accelerated deployment of Experience of the Future restaurants in the U.S should drive growth too.

Efforts to attract customers in International Lead & High Growth Markets also bode well. In fact, global comps at McDonald’s have been positive over the past eight quarters. Yet, high labor costs and currency headwinds might keep profits under pressure.

Earnings estimates for the current year have declined over the last two months raising concerns. Even so, augmented focus on refranchising will cut the company’s capital requirements and facilitate EPS growth and ROE expansion in the long run.

(You can read the full research report on McDonald's here >>>).

Buy-ratedGilead’s shares have outperformed the Zacks Biotech industry in the last one year, increasing +13.8% vs. a decline of -6.8%. Gilead’s HIV franchise continues to gain traction, courtesy of the rapid adoption of TAF-based regimens in the United States and EU.

The TAF-based regimens now represent 62% of total HIV prescription volume following the launch of Genvoya, Odefsey and Descovy in 2016. The approval of Gilead’s latest triple HIV therapy, Biktarvy, is likely to provide an impetus to the stock as Gilead is now banking on its HIV franchise and newer avenues like the CAR-T therapy post Kite acquisition.

However, the HCV franchise is under tremendous pressure due to lower patient starts and increasing competition. Both pricing and market share are expected to stabilize by mid-2018 while patient starts are expected to decline further.

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

Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Phillips 66 and Lam Research.

The Hottest Tech Mega-Trend of All

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See Zacks' 3 Best Stocks to Play This Trend >>

Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1 Stock of the Day pick for free.

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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International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Gilead Sciences, Inc. (GILD) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Phillips 66 (PSX) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
McDonald's Corporation (MCD) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Lam Research Corporation (LRCX) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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