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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Walmart, AstraZeneca, Broadcom, Intuitive Surgical and Anthem

Zacks Equity Research

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – October 22, 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: Walmart WMT, AstraZeneca AZN, Broadcom AVGO,Intuitive Surgical ISRG and Anthem ANTM.

Here are highlights from Monday’s Analyst Blog:

Top Research Reports for Walmart, AstraZeneca and Broadcom

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 Broadcom. 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’s shares have outperformed the Zacks Supermarkets industry year to date (27.9% vs. 23.6%). The Zacks analyst believes that factors such as the company’s focus on strengthening e-commerce and store operations aided the company to retain a sturdy comps trend in first-quarter fiscal 2019, wherein earnings marked its fifth straight beat.

Further, U.S. comps rose for the 19th straight time. Also, e-commerce sales surged on robust Walmart.com and online grocery performances. Encouragingly, e-commerce sales are expected to rise nearly 35% in fiscal 2020. The company is also making efforts to improve its International unit by shifting focus to profitable countries.

However, the addition of Flipkart was a drag on Walmart’s operating income. Moreover, transportation costs, a compelling pricing strategy and tariff-related worries are threats to margins. Nonetheless, the Flipkart deal bodes well for the long term.

Shares of AstraZeneca have gained 13.2% in the past six months against the Zacks Large Cap Pharmaceuticals industry’s rise of 3.5%. The Zacks analyst believes that AstraZeneca’s core products like Nexium, Crestor and Seroquel are facing generic competition, which is hurting sales.

The diabetes franchise is also facing stiff competition while pricing pressure is hurting sales in the respiratory unit. Nonetheless, AstraZeneca has returned to product sales growth mainly on the back of its cancer medicines, Lynparza, Tagrisso and Imfinzi, which should keep driving revenues. Several launches are underway across each of the therapeutic areas, Oncology, CV metabolism and Respiratory.

Cost-cutting efforts should drive earnings. AstraZeneca also has a promising late-stage pipeline. Its shares have outperformed the industry so far this year. The company has a positive record of earnings surprises in the recent quarters. Estimates have gone down slightly ahead of the Q3 earnings release. 

Broadcom’s shares have lost 3.1% over the past three months against the Zacks Electronics - Semiconductors industry’s decline of 0.3%. The Zacks analyst believes that Broadcom is benefiting from strong demand of its wireless solutions and expanding product portfolio, which makes it well positioned to address the needs of rapidly growing technologies like IoT and 5G.

Further, strong ties with leading OEMs across multiple target markets are expected to help the company gain key insights into the requirements of customers. Moreover, the company intends to strengthen presence in the infrastructure software vertical particularly.

In this regard, acquisition of CA and Symantec’s Enterprise Security Business remain extremely significant. Nonetheless, the company faces intensifying competition and integration risks due to frequent acquisitions. The company’s leveraged balance sheet and customer concentration are concerns.

Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Intuitive Surgical and Anthem.

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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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AstraZeneca PLC (AZN) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Broadcom Inc. (AVGO) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (ISRG) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Anthem, Inc. (ANTM) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Walmart Inc. (WMT) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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