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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Merck, PepsiCo, 3M, Broadcom and Phillips 66

Zacks Equity Research
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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL –September 12, 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: Merck MRK, PepsiCo PEP, 3M MMM, Broadcom AVGO and Phillips 66 PSX.

Here are highlights from Monday’s Analyst Blog:

Top Stock Reports for Merck, PepsiCo & 3M

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 Merck, PepsiCo and 3M. These research reports have been hand-picked from the roughly 70 reports published by our analyst team today.

Merck’s shares have outperformed the Zacks Large Cap Pharmaceuticals industry year to date, gaining +23.6% versus +4.7%. The Zacks analyst thinks Merck’s new products like Keytruda, Lynparza, and Bridion should continue to contribute meaningfully to the top line.

Keytruda sales are gaining strong momentum with approval for additional indications especially in the first-line lung cancer setting as it is the only anti-PD-1 approved in this setting. Animal Health unit is also strong and remains a core growth driver for Merck.

Meanwhile, Merck will continue to focus on cost-cutting initiatives to drive the bottom line. However, generic competition for several drugs and pricing pressure will continue to be overhangs on the top line. Rising competitive pressure on the diabetes franchise and on products like Isentress (HIV), Zepatier (HCV) and Zostavax (vaccine) will remain headwinds in 2018.

Shares of Buy-ranked PepsiCo have gained +8.7% in the past three months, outperforming the Zacks Soft Beverages industry's increase of +2.2%, driven by a solid earnings trend with beats recorded in the last 10 quarters, including second-quarter 2018. Strong performances in its international division, backed by higher revenue growth in developing and emerging markets have been aiding results.

Further, the company has reported positive sales surprise in six of the last eight quarters. The Zacks analyst thinks the company is also gaining from significant strength in the snacks business, which has mostly offset the sluggishness in beverage category.

Moreover, the company’s product innovations to include healthier food assortments and non-carbonated drinks in its portfolio should boost sales. However, consumers’ awareness on health and wellness, alongside new taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages and growing regulatory pressures are affecting CSD sales.

3M’s shares have gained +3.9% in the past three months, outperforming the Zacks Diversified Operations industry, which has increased +1.1% over the same period. The company perceives that stronger demand for household products like Nexcare, Post-it and Scotch and ongoing product portfolio restructuring moves will boost its revenues in the upcoming quarters.

The Zacks analyst thinks that escalating costs have become a major cause of concern for the company. Inflation in the prices of major inputs and escalating interest expenses might continue to raise the company’s aggregate costs, in turn, hurting its near-term profitability. Over the past 7 days, Zacks Consensus Estimate for the stock has remained unchanged for both 2018 and 2019.

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

5 Medical Stocks to Buy Now

Zacks names 5 companies poised to ride a medical breakthrough that is targeting cures for leukemia, AIDS, muscular dystrophy, hemophilia, and other conditions.

New products in this field are already generating substantial revenue and even more wondrous treatments are in the pipeline. Early investors could realize exceptional profits.

Click here to see the 5 stocks >>

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Zacks Investment Research

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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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Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Pepsico, Inc. (PEP) : Free Stock Analysis Report
3M Company (MMM) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Broadcom Limited (AVGO) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Phillips 66 (PSX) : Free Stock Analysis Report
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