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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Pfizer, Biogen, Schwab, Sysco and Philips

Zacks Equity Research
275K non-government jobs were created in the month of April. This is way up from the 177K expected.


For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – January 21, 2019 – 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: Pfizer PFE, Biogen BIIB, Schwab SCHW, Sysco SYY and Philips PHG.

Here are highlights from Friday’s Analyst Blog:

Top Stock Reports for Pfizer, Biogen and Schwab

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 Pfizer, Biogen and Schwab. 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 >>>

Pfizer’s shares have outperformed its peer group in the past one year. (the stock is up +14.8% over this period vs. a -0.5% decline for the Zacks Large-Cap Pharmaceuticals industry). Pfizer is facing top-line headwinds like genericization of key drugs, supply challenges in the legacy Hospira portfolio, pricing pressure and rising competition.

However, the Zacks analyst thinks products like Ibrance, cost-cutting efforts, a lower tax rate and share buybacks can support bottom-line growth. Pfizer also boasts a strong pipeline and looks well positioned to deliver several potential new breakthrough innovative medicines in the next five years, which can drive long-term growth. Bavencio, though approved for two small indications currently, is being considered a key long-term growth driver for Pfizer if it can gain label expansion approvals.

Pfizer gained FDA approval for four new cancer drugs in 2018, which can boost oncology sales. Estimates have gone down slightly ahead of Q4 earnings release. Pfizer has a positive record of earnings surprises in recent quarters.

Shares of Biogen have outperformed the Zacks Biomedical and Genetics industry in the past one year (-1.8% vs. -19.8%). Biogen has a strong position in the MS market with a wide range of products.

The Zacks analyst likes its efforts to diversify beyond MS to other areas like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson's and stroke. Spinraza is performing strongly and has multi-billion dollar potential. Biogen’s efforts to regularly in-license assets to build its pipeline are encouraging since several of them have transformative potential. Multiple data readouts are expected in 2019.

However, the launch of Ocrevus by Roche is having a negative impact on MS franchise sales in the United States. Also, potential competition to Spinraza from competitors’ gene therapy programs for SMA is a concern.

Though Biogen’s CNS pipeline is attractive, it is a high-risk area. However, estimates have gone up slightly ahead of Q4 earnings results. The company has a positive record of earnings surprises in recent quarters.

Schwab’s shares have outperformed the Zacks Investment Brokers industry over the past three months, gaining +0.1% vs -6.2%. The Zacks analyst emphasizes that the company has an impressive earnings surprise history, having surpassed expectations in each of the trailing four quarters. Its fourth-quarter 2018 results were driven by a rise in interest income and trading revenues.

The company remains well positioned to gain from the rising rate environment and its initiatives to strengthen trading income. Further, its steady capital deployment actions reflect a strong balance sheet position. However, continuously rising operating expenses remain a major concern and hurt bottom-line growth to some extent. Also, the company's significant dependence on fee-based revenue streams is cause for apprehension.

Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Sysco and Philips.

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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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Pfizer Inc. (PFE) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Koninklijke Philips N.V. (PHG) : Free Stock Analysis Report
The Charles Schwab Corporation (SCHW) : Free Stock Analysis Report
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