Today's Must Read
Oracle (ORCL) Gains from Cloud Suite Adoption & Partnerships
Sanofi (SNY) Specialty Care Unit Helps Sales, Pipeline Solid
Tuesday, September 15, 2020
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 (WMT), Oracle (ORCL) and Sanofi (SNY). These research reports have been hand-picked from the roughly 70 reports published by our analyst team today.
Walmart shares have lost ground lately, but the stock is otherwise a standout performer this year - up +15.9% vs. +5.1% for the S&P 500 index. The Zacks analyst believes that the company has been benefiting from rising demand for grocery and general merchandise items amid the coronavirus-led stay-at-home trends. The announcement of the Walmart+ subscription service promises to give consumers a competitive alternative to Amazon's (AMZN) Prime service.
Stay-at-home trends are also boosting e-commerce sales, which soared 97% in second-quarter fiscal 2021. During the quarter, sales and earnings beat the consensus mark and grew year over year, with U.S. comps rising for the 24th straight time. In the U.S. segment, both store and online sales remained strong, supported by government stimulus.
Clearly, Walmart’s efforts to enhance deliveries are yielding results. However, the company is seeing high COVID-19-related costs, especially associated with special bonuses. Moreover, price investments are hurting gross margin to an extent.
Shares of Oracle have gained +39.2% over the past six months against the Zacks Computer Software industry’s rise of +56.5%. The Zacks analyst believes that Oracle’s growing cloud business and the latest autonomous database is expected to boost competitive position in the long haul.
Oracle's fiscal first quarter results benefited from rapid adoption of data cloud solutions and Autonomous Database. Strong uptake of cloud-based solutions, comprising NetSuite ERP, Fusion ERP and Fusion HCM, aided revenue growth. Also, companies like Xactly, 8x8 and Zoom Video Communications have selected Oracle Cloud Infrastructure services to address business needs, which is a testament to the strength of its cloud offerings.
Solid demand for the Oracle Dedicated Region Cloud@Customer supported by ML is anticipated to drive the top line. However, coronavirus crisis led business impacts remain an overhang on renewals and payments. Rise in spend on product enhancements amid stiff competition in the cloud market is anticipated to weigh on margins.
Sanofi shares have gained +18.5% over the past year against the Zacks Large Cap Pharmaceuticals industry’s rise of +13.8%. The Zacks analyst believes that Sanofi’s Specialty Care segment is on a strong footing, particularly with regular label expansion of Dupixent.
The drug has, in a very short time, become the key top-line driver for Sanofi. Sanofi possesses one of the world’s leading vaccine operations. Sanofi’s R&D pipeline is strong and several positive data read-outs are expected in 2020. Its cost-savings and efficiency initiatives are supporting bottom-line growth.
However, headwinds include weak performance of the Diabetes unit, generic competition for many drugs and slower-than-expected uptake of core products like Praluent. COVID-19 resulted in slowdown of new patient additions, deferral of procedures and some vaccinations, and lower in-pharmacy traffic in Q2.
Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include American Tower (AMT), GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and CVS Health (CVS).
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Director of Research
Note: Sheraz Mian heads the Zacks Equity Research department and is a well-regarded expert of aggregate earnings. He is frequently quoted in the print and electronic media and publishes the weekly Earnings Trends and Earnings Preview reports. If you want an email notification each time Sheraz publishes a new article, please click here>>>