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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Walmart, AstraZeneca, HSBC Holdings, Exxon Mobil and Altria Group

Zacks Equity Research
·5 min read

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – November 19, 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: Walmart Inc. WMT, AstraZeneca PLC AZN, HSBC Holdings plc HSBC, Exxon Mobil Corporation XOM and Altria Group, Inc. MO.

Here are highlights from Wednesday’s Analyst Blog:

Top Analyst Reports for Walmart, AstraZeneca and HSBC

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 Walmart, AstraZeneca and HSBC Holdings. 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 >>>

Walmart shares have modestly outperformed the Zacks Supermarkets industry in the year-to-date period (+27.2% vs. +23.9%), but the stock has handily beaten the broader market on the back of strong momentum in its online business and rising demand for grocery and general merchandise amid the pandemic.

Stay-at-home trends are also boosting e-commerce sales, which soared 79% in the U.S. segment in third-quarter fiscal 2021. During the quarter, the top and bottom lines beat the estimates and grew year over year, with U.S. comp sales rising for the 25th straight time. Comps were fueled by strength in core categories and higher shift toward e-commerce.

Clearly, Walmart’s efforts to enhance deliveries are yielding results. Also, the company is focused on improving the International unit’s performance, evident from its recent plans to sell certain businesses. However, the company is seeing high COVID-19 costs, which are likely to prevail. Also, price investments are hurting gross margin to an extent. 

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

Shares of AstraZeneca have gained +15.2% over the past year against the Zacks Large Cap Pharmaceuticals industry’s rise of +5.4%. The Zacks analyst believes that AstraZeneca’s newer drugs, mainly cancer medicines Lynparza, Tagrisso and Imfinzi should keep driving revenues. Its pipeline is strong with several phase III data readouts lined up for the next few months including data on COVID-19 vaccine candidate, AZD1222.

AstraZeneca missed Q3 estimates for earnings but beat the same for sales. Its products like Nexium, Crestor and Seroquel are facing generic competition, which is hurting sales. The diabetes franchise also faces stiff competition while pricing pressure is hurting sales in the respiratory unit.

AstraZeneca has also engaged in external acquisitions and strategic collaborations to boost its pipeline while investing in geographic areas of high growth like China. Cost-cutting efforts should drive earnings.

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

HSBC shares have gained +2.9% over the past six months against the Zacks Foreign Banks industry’s rise of +38.5%. The Zacks analyst believes that the company’s initiatives to improve market share in the U.K. and China are likely to support financials over the long term.

However, these efforts might lead to a rise in costs in the near term, thus, hurting the bottom line. Moreover, global economic slowdown, low interest rate environment across the globe and weak loan demand will likely hamper revenue growth. The coronavirus-induced ambiguity is likely to continue to hurt financials to some extent in the near term.

Yet, the company’s strong capital position, initiatives to strengthen digital capabilities, extensive network across the world and efforts to improve operating efficiency through business restructuring are expected to support profits.

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

Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Exxon Mobil and Altria Group.

Zacks Names “Single Best Pick to Double”

From thousands of stocks, 5 Zacks experts each have chosen their favorite to skyrocket +100% or more in months to come. From those 5, Director of Research Sheraz Mian hand-picks one to have the most explosive upside of all.

You know this company from its past glory days, but few would expect that it’s poised for a monster turnaround. Fresh from a successful repositioning and flush with A-list celeb endorsements, it could rival or surpass other recent Zacks’ Stocks Set to Double like Boston Beer Company which shot up +143.0% in a little more than 9 months and Nvidia which boomed +175.9% in one year.

Free: See Our Top Stock and 4 Runners Up >>

Media Contact

Zacks Investment Research

800-767-3771 ext. 9339

support@zacks.com                                      

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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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Exxon Mobil Corporation (XOM) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Altria Group, Inc. (MO) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
AstraZeneca PLC (AZN) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Walmart Inc. (WMT) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
HSBC Holdings plc (HSBC) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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Zacks Investment Research