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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights Mastercard, The Walt Disney, Costco Wholesale, PayPal and The Southern Company

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – March 16, 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: Mastercard Inc. MA, The Walt Disney Co. DIS, Costco Wholesale Corp. COST, PayPal Holdings, Inc. PYPL and The Southern Company SO.

Here are highlights from Tuesday’s Analyst Blog:

Top Stock Reports for Mastercard, Walt Disney and Costco

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 Mastercard Inc., The Walt Disney Co., and Costco Wholesale Corp. 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 Mastercard have outperformed the Zacks Financial Transaction Services industry over the past two-year period (+39.5% vs. -8.9%). The Zacks analyst believes that the company's profit levels are rising thanks to increasing consumer spending. This enabled the company to report strong fourth-quarter results. Numerous acquisitions are helping it to grow addressable markets and drive new revenue streams.

The COVID-19 crisis accelerated the use of electronic payments with much greater adoption of digital and contactless solutions. The situation provides an opportunity for Mastercard's business to expedite its shift to the digital mode.

The company is well-poised to gain from steady cash-generating abilities. A strong capital position enables the company to pursue acquisitions and deploy capital. However, steep operating expenses might stress margins. High rebates and incentives may weigh on net revenues.

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

Shares of Walt Disney have underperformed the Zacks Media Conglomerates industry over the year-to-date period (-16.7% vs. -12.4%). The Zacks analyst believes that Disney+'s profitability was negatively impacted by higher programming and production, as well as marketing and technology costs in first-quarter fiscal 2022.

Higher sports programming costs have affected ESPN+'s profitability. Disney expects continued investments in content, which will drive up programming and production costs that is expected to hurt operating income by more than $200 million on a year-over-year basis. Disney's leveraged balance sheet remains a concern.

However, Disney continues to benefit from the growing popularity of Disney+, owing to a strong content portfolio and a cheaper bundle offering. Availability in the Nordics, Latin America and other Asian territories will help in further expanding user base. Revival in Parks, Experiences and Products businesses also hold promise.

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

Shares of Costco have outperformed the Zacks Retail - Discount Stores industry over the past six-month period (+13.6% vs. -1.1%). The Zacks analyst believes that the company's growth strategies, better price management, decent membership trend and increasing penetration of e-commerce business reinforce its position.

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 fiscal Q2 2022, wherein both the top and the bottom lines not only surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate but also improved year over year. Also, Costco has been witnessing stellar comps sales run. While aforementioned factors raise optimism, 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 >>>)

Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include PayPal Holdings, Inc., and The Southern Company.

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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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Southern Company The (SO) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Mastercard Incorporated (MA) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Costco Wholesale Corporation (COST) : Free Stock Analysis Report
The Walt Disney Company (DIS) : Free Stock Analysis Report
PayPal Holdings, Inc. (PYPL) : Free Stock Analysis Report
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