Today's Must Read
CVS Health (CVS) Tackles Pandemic Crisis with Digital Strategy
Despite No Approved Products Moderna (MRNA) Looks Promising
Friday, December 4, 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 Cisco Systems, Inc. (CSCO), CVS Health Corporation (CVS) and Moderna, Inc. (MRNA). These research reports have been hand-picked from the roughly 70 reports published by our analyst team today.
Shares of Cisco have declined -8.0% in the year-to-date period against the Zacks Computer - Networking industry’s loss of -7.9%. The Zacks analyst believes that weakness in the commercial, service provider and enterprise end markets and coronavirus crisis-led supply chain constraints is likely to weigh on the company’s revenues. Also, weak demand for servers, and sluggish enterprise IT spending, remain concerns.
However, Cisco's fiscal first-quarter results actually benefited from robust adoption of identity and access, advanced threat and unified threat management security solutions amid high growth in Internet traffic. Ongoing momentum in Webex video conferencing and business productivity offerings on account of COVID-19 induced work-from-home demand environment remains noteworthy. Also, strong demand for Catalyst 9000 family of switches aided growth. Moreover, the company provided encouraging guidance for the fiscal second-quarter.
CVS Health shares have outperformed the Zacks Retail - Pharmacies and Drug Stores industry over the past three-month period (+20.4% vs. +18.1%). In fact, the company ended the third quarter with earnings and revenues surpassing the respective Zacks Consensus Estimate. The Zacks analyst believes that the COVID-19 pandemic affected the Pharmacy Services business as new therapy prescriptions reduced due to lower provider visits. However, this segment delivered double-digit operating income growth reflecting strength in specialty pharmacy along with favorable purchasing economics.
Meanwhile, the year-over-year Retail/LTC revenue rise was primarily driven by increased prescription volume and higher front store revenues. Health Care Benefits arm benefitted from strong Medicare AEP. Increased guidance amid the pandemic scenario is another positive.
Moderna shares have gained +704.0% in the year-to-date period against the Zacks Medical - Biomedical and Genetics industry’s rise of +4.6%. The company’s coronavirus vaccine candidate achieved 94.1% efficacy rate in primary analysis and a EUA is anticipated by year-end. It is also developing several promising mRNA-based pipeline candidates, targeting a wide range of indications. The Zacks analyst believes that these candidates also attract partnerships with big pharma companies, thus generating funds through upfront and milestone payments, and reducing research and marketing costs.
However, Moderna's sole dependence on partners for revenues is a concern. Early to mid-stage nature of its pipeline runs a high degree of risk. Any development setbacks would be a major disappointment for the company.
Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Pfizer Inc. (PFE), T. Rowe Price Group, Inc. (TROW) and Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. (HLT).
5 Stocks Set to Double
Each was hand-picked by a Zacks expert as the #1 favorite stock to gain +100% or more in 2020. Each comes from a different sector and has unique qualities and catalysts that could fuel exceptional growth.
Most of the stocks in this report are flying under Wall Street radar, which provides a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor.
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>>>