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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: PulteGroup, Quidel, D.R. Horton and West Pharmaceutical Services

Zacks Equity Research
·7 min read

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – August 4, 2020 – 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: PulteGroup, Inc. PHM, Quidel Corporation QDEL, D.R. Horton, Inc. DHI, PerkinElmer, Inc. PKI and West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. WST.

Here are highlights from Tuesday’s Analyst Blog:

Wall Street Northbound, Defying All Concerns: Top 5 Picks

Forget coronavirus, Wall Street ended the first month of third-quarter 2020 with a lot of vigor after completing a fabulous second quarter, marking the fourth consecutive month of rally. In fact, a new bull market that was developed last quarter exiting the coronavirus-induced short bear market, is raging forward in the third quarter too.

Meanwhile, several stocks have skyrocketed in July. A handful of those are large-cap (market capital > $10 billion) Zacks top-Ranked stocks with strong growth potential and robust earnings estimates revisions within the last 30 days. Investment in these stocks should lead to solid returns.

Market Rally Continues Despite Various Concerns

Market participants faced several hurdles in July. The resurgence of coronavirus in as many as 24 states which forced them to close some parts of the economy that were reopened just a month ago, raised questions on the V-shaped recovery of the U.S. economy.

Moreover, second-quarter 2020 earnings results are pathetic so far and GDP plunged 32.9% year over year, marking the largest-ever decline in a quarter. Initial jobless claims increased in the last two weeks of July. Both Conference Board's consumer confidence index and University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index revealed falling trends last month.

Additionally, it is still unknown to everyone whether a vaccine for the treatment of COVID-19 will be available anytime soon. Negotiations between Republicans and Democrats related to the second round of fiscal stimulus are still going on. Notably, the unemployment benefit of $600 per week ended in July. Finally, the economic and geo-political conflict between the United States and China heightened last month.

Yet, defying this long lineup of negatives, the three major stock indexes — the Dow, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite — surged 2.3%, 5.5% and 6.8%, respectively, in July. Aside from these three large-cap-specific indexes, the small-cap-centric Russell 2000 also gained 2.7%.

Negatives Are Already Priced in Market Valuation

The Dow, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite jumped 45.1%, 49.3% and 62%, respectively, from their recent lowest levels recorded on Mar 23. The astonishing performances are primarily due to the fact that negative estimates are already factored in market price while the stock markets always look for future expectations.

Disappointing corporate earnings were expected since lockdowns were imposed for nearly two months in the last quarter to curb the spread of the deadly virus. Although second-quarter GDP plunged 32.9%, it is still narrower-than the consensus estimate of a decline of 34.7%.

All 50 states reopened in the last week of May though half of them were forced to close some parts of their economies in face of the second wave of coronavirus. Despite this, a series of economic data in May and June clearly indicated that the fundamentals of the U.S. economy stayed stable.

Unprecedented fiscal and monetary stimulus generated huge pent-up demand, which should be bolstered after the second round of fiscal stimulus expected early this month.

Finally, although corporate earnings estimates are still negative for the rest of this year, the earnings growth picture is steadily improving since the start of July for third-quarter, fourth-quarter and full-year 2020. In fact, there has been a notable improvement since the outbreak (read more: These 3 Charts Clearly Tell the Q2 Earnings Season Story).    

Our Top Picks

We have narrowed down our search to five large-cap stocks with solid growth potential and robust earnings estimate revisions that popped more than 15% in the past month. Each of the picks carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

PulteGroup is engaged in homebuilding and financial services businesses, primarily in the United States. The company has expected earnings growth of 22.1% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has improved by 44.9% over the last 30 days. The stock price has soared 32.6% in the past month.

Quidel develops, manufactures and markets diagnostic testing solutions for applications primarily in infectious diseases, cardiology and gastrointestinal diseases worldwide. The company has an expected earnings growth rate of more than 100% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has improved by 6.5% over the last 30 days. The stock price has climbed  24.4% in the past month.

D.R. Horton operates as a homebuilding company in the East, Midwest, Southeast, South Central, Southwest, and West United States. The company has expected earnings growth of 19.6% for the current year (ending September 2020). The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has improved by 5.8% over the last 7 days. The stock price has appreciated 22.4% in the past month.

PerkinElmer provides products, services and solutions to the diagnostics, life sciences, and applied services markets worldwide. It operates in two segments, Discovery & Analytical Solutions and Diagnostics.

The company has an expected earnings growth rate of 17.8% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has improved by 20.4% over the last 30 days. The stock price has surged 21.4% in the past month.

West Pharmaceutical Services manufactures and sells containment and delivery systems for injectable drugs and healthcare products in the United States, Europe and internationally. It operates through two segments, Proprietary Products and Contract-Manufactured Products.

The company has an expected earnings growth rate of 31.8% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has improved by 18.3% over the last 30 days. The stock price has advanced 17% in the past month.

Breakout Biotech Stocks with Triple-Digit Profit Potential

The biotech sector is projected to surge beyond $775 billion by 2024 as scientists develop treatments for thousands of diseases. They’re also finding ways to edit the human genome to literally erase our vulnerability to these diseases.

Zacks has just released Century of Biology: 7 Biotech Stocks to Buy Right Now to help investors profit from 7 stocks poised for outperformance. Our recent biotech recommendations have produced gains of +50%, +83% and +164% in as little as 2 months. The stocks in this report could perform even better.

See these 7 breakthrough stocks now>>

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/performancefor information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report
PulteGroup, Inc. (PHM) : Free Stock Analysis Report
PerkinElmer, Inc. (PKI) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Quidel Corporation (QDEL) : Free Stock Analysis Report
West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. (WST) : Free Stock Analysis Report
D.R. Horton, Inc. (DHI) : Free Stock Analysis Report
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