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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Microsoft, Caterpillar, Target, Square and Freeport-McMoRan

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Zacks Equity Research
·4 min read
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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – March 16, 2021 – 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: Microsoft Corporation MSFT, Caterpillar Inc. CAT, Target Corporation TGT, Square, Inc. SQ and Freeport-McMoRan Inc. FCX.

Here are highlights from Monday’s Analyst Blog:

Top Analyst Reports for Microsoft, Caterpillar and Target

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 Microsoft (MSFT), Caterpillar (CAT) and Target (TGT). 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 >>>

Microsoft shares have outperformed the S&P 500 over the past year (+72.2% vs. +67.5%), though the stock has been laggard lately along with other large-cap Tech stocks. The Zacks analyst believes that Microsoft is benefiting from strong momentum in Azure, impressive Teams user growth, work-from-home, online learning wave and tele healthcare trends.

Solid uptake of new Xbox gaming consoles and Xbox Game Pass drove the top-line growth. Further, the company is gaining from growing user base of its different applications including Microsoft 365 suite, and Dynamics.

However, delays in consulting business are anticipated to limit growth. Increased spending on Azure enhancements amid stiff competition from Amazon Web Services, is likely to impede margin expansion.

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

Shares of Caterpillar have gained +50.1% in the last six months against the Zacks Construction and Mining industry’s gain of +53.3%. The Zacks analyst believes that Caterpillar is likely to gain from cost control efforts and proactively managing production.

Overall in 2021, Caterpillar’s results are expected to improve, aided by strong demand in China, pickup in manufacturing activity, strength in residential construction in the United States, strong construction demand in Brazil as well as better mining fundamentals.

However, heavy construction and quarry and aggregate markets remain uncertain. Nevertheless, a robust liquidity position, investments in expanded offerings, and services and digital initiatives will fuel growth.

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

Target shares have gained +5.1% over the past three months against the Zacks Discount Stores industry’s loss of -1.9%. The Zacks analyst believes that Target’s initiatives, including the development of omni-channel capacities, diversification and localization of assortments along with emphasis on flexible format stores, bode well.

It has been deploying resources to enhance omni-channel capabilities, come up with new brands, refurbish stores and expand same-day delivery options to provide seamless shopping experience.

The company has been making multiple changes to its business model to adapt and stay relevant in the ever-evolving retail landscape. Target’s stronger-than-anticipated fourth-quarter fiscal 2020 performance is the testimony of the same, wherein both the top and the bottom lines improved year over year. The company gained market share in all the five core merchandise categories.

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

Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Square and Freeport-McMoRan.

More Stock News: This Is Bigger than the iPhone!

It could become the mother of all technological revolutions. Apple sold a mere 1 billion iPhones in 10 years but a new breakthrough is expected to generate more than 77 billion devices by 2025, creating a $1.3 trillion market.

Zacks has just released a Special Report that spotlights this fast-emerging phenomenon and 4 tickers for taking advantage of it. If you don't buy now, you may kick yourself in 2022.

Click here for the 4 trades >>

Media Contact

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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