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Research Daily

Thursday May 18, 2017

Today's Research Daily features new research reports on 16 major stocks, including Boeing (BA), AbbVie (ABBV) and UnitedHealth (UNH). 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 >>>

Boeingshares have surged +39.6% over the past one-year, outperforming the Zacks Aerospace & Defense sector, which gained +20.9% during the same time period. The Zacks analyst stresses that rising demand for its commercial airplanes on the back of steady improvement in passenger and freight traffic is the major factor behind the surge in Boeing shares. These developments reflect the company’s latest expansion on the international front, apart from its strong presence in the domestic aviation market. The improving outlook for defense spending under the Trump administration is another long-term positive in the Boeing story. However, challenges including uncertain fate of high-cost programs, risks related to key project executions, order cancellations as well as stiff competition might have a negative impact on the company. (You can read the full research report on Boeing here>>>)

AbbVie shares have gained +10.2% over the last one year, outperforming the large cap pharma industry, which has gained +4.4% over the same period. The stock as well as the industry has lagged the broader market, however, on continued macro uncertainty related to drug pricing. AbbVie reported better-than-expected results in the first quarter, surpassing expectations for both earnings and sales. The Zacks analyst likes its key drug Humira’s performance. Sales should continue to be driven by growing awareness, favorable clinical data, additional indications and expansion into new markets. Moreover, products like Viekira and Imbruvica have diversified AbbVie’s revenue base. AbbVie has a deep and promising pipeline and is also working on expanding its portfolio though additional deals. On the flip side, the Zacks analyst points out that Viekira faces intense pricing pressure and competition in the HCV market. Additionally, quite a few companies are working on bringing Humira biosimilars to the market. (You can read the full research report on AbbVie here>>>)

UnitedHealthshares have lagged the peer group lately, with the stock up +5.5% in the year-to-date period vs. the Zacks HMO industry’s +10.5% gain. A big reason for the stock’s recent underperformance are questions about the company’s Medicare Advantage policies in recent years following a whistleblower accusations. The company’s decision to reduce its exposure to the troubled public exchange business is a likely another issue. Though this move will shield it from losses in this business, the company’s premium revenues will be affected. These challenges notwithstanding, the Zacks analyst likes the company’s strong fundamentals and diversified operations which should help it counter these headwinds. The company raised its 2017 guidance on the back of its solid first-quarter earnings. UnitedHealth has also witnessed an upward revision in earnings estimates for 2017 over the last 30 days. (You can read the full research report on UnitedHealth here>>>)

Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Travelers (TRV), Consolidated Edison (ED) and Cisco (CSCO).

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Sheraz Mian

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 >>>

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