The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights Merck, Thermo Fisher Scientific, American Express, Valero Energy and Weyerhaeuser

·4 min read

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – February 16, 2023 – 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 & Co., Inc. MRK, Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. TMO, American Express Co. AXP, Valero Energy Corp. VLO and Weyerhaeuser Co. WY.

Here are highlights from Wednesday’s Analyst Blog:

Top Stock Reports for Merck, Thermo Fisher and American Express

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 & Co., Inc. (MRK), Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. (TMO) and American Express Co. (AXP). 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 >>>

Merck's shares have outperformed the Zacks Large Cap Pharmaceuticals industry over the past year (+39.8% vs. +11.8%). Drugs like Keytruda and Gardasil (HPV vaccine) have been driving sales. With continued label expansion into new indications & early-stage settings, Keytruda is expected to remain a key top-line driver.

Animal health and vaccine products are core growth drivers. Its new COVID oral antiviral pill, Lagevrio, has become a key top-line driver in 2022. Merck boasts a strong cancer pipeline, including Keytruda, which should help drive long-term growth.

However, generic competition for several drugs and rising competitive pressure, mainly on the diabetes franchise, will continue to be overhangs on the top line. There are concerns about Merck's ability to grow its non-oncology business ahead of Keytruda's loss of exclusivity later in the decade.

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

Shares of Thermo Fisher Scientific have outperformed the Zacks Medical - Instruments industry over the past year (+2.7% vs. -12.0%). The company's robust year-over-year revenue growth in the Analytical Instruments and the Laboratory Products and Biopharma Services segments appears promising.

Thermo Fisher's accelerated investments to expand bioproduction capacity also buoy optimism. In the quarter, Thermo Fisher witnessed strength in three out of its four end markets. The upbeat guidance for 2022 is indicative that this growth momentum will continue.

However, the year-over-year decline in revenues in the Life Science Solutions and Specialty Diagnostics segment is disappointing. The contraction of both margins on escalating costs and expenses does not bode well either. The year-over-year decline in adjusted earnings is concerning.

(You can read the full research report on Thermo Fisher Scientifichere >>>)

Shares of American Express have declined -8.6% over the past year against the Zacks Financial - Miscellaneous Services industry's decline of -17.7%. Due to higher utilization of the company's cards, expense in the form of card member services and card member rewards is likely to go up and strain the company's margins. Also, marketing and business development expenses are expected to rise, hurting the bottom line. As such, the stock warrants a cautious stance.

Nevertheless, American Express have adopted several growth initiatives, such as launching new products, enhancing existing features, reaching new agreements and forging alliances, are boosting its revenues. Consumer spending on travel and entertainment, which carry higher margins for AmEx, is advancing well.

The company's balance sheet looks strong with manageable debt. Solid cash-generation abilities enable the pursuit of business investments and capital deployment via share buybacks and dividends.

(You can read the full research report on American Expresshere >>>)

Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today Valero Energy Corp. and Weyerhaeuser Co.

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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 for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

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Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK) : Free Stock Analysis Report

American Express Company (AXP) : Free Stock Analysis Report

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. (TMO) : Free Stock Analysis Report

Weyerhaeuser Company (WY) : Free Stock Analysis Report

Valero Energy Corporation (VLO) : Free Stock Analysis Report

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