Today's Must Read
3M (MMM) Benefits from Portfolio Restructuring & Improving Global Backdrop
United Tech (UTX) Core Focus Impaired by High Volatility
Thursday May 25, 2017
Today's Research Daily features new research reports on 16 major stocks, including Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK), 3M Co (MMM) and United Technologies Corporation (UTX). You can see all of today’s research reports here >>>
Merck shares have outperformed the Large Cap Pharmaceuticals industry over the last one year, gaining +15.1% versus the industry’s +3.4% increase. This momentum reflects the progress it has made with product pipeline and strong recent results; the company beat estimates in Q1 and raised guidance. While generic competition for several drugs and pricing pressures as are material in the Merck story as they are for many of its peers, the Zacks analyst points out that the company's new products like Keytruda and Zepatier hold great potential. The analyst discusses all of these issues in the updated research report issued today. (You can read the full research report on Merck here >>>)
3M shares are up +11.4% in the year-to-date period, outperforming the S&P 500 index (up +7.7%) and the Zacks Conglomerates sector (up +1%). Driving this momentum has been the company's successful efforts to align its portfolio to customer relevance, productivity and speed through a leaner operating structure. 3M is also standardizing its business processes through a new, global ERP system and expects $500–$700 million in annual operational savings by 2020. The impact of these showed up in the latest quarterly release when it guided higher. On the flip side, high pension expenses and exposure to commodity price risks remain significant headwinds. (You can read the full research report on 3M here >>>)
United Technologies shares have outperformed the Zacks Conglomerates sector as well as the S&P 500 index in the year-to-date period (the stock is up +11.6 vs. +1.1% gain for the sector) on the back of a revamped aerospace unit and improved growth outlook through strategic acquisition opportunities. While questions remain about the new administration's ability to ramp up defense spending, this favorable expectation is nevertheless a positive for the company. The improving outlook for the global economy is another macro tailwind for UTX. The company remains in excellent financial health and pays a stable dividend (currently yielding 2.2%), but value-oriented investors will likely have issues with the stock's current elevated valuation. (You can read the full research report on United Technologies here >>>)
Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Ford Motor Company (F), Sherwin-Williams Co (SHW) and Humana Inc (HUM).
Will You Make a Fortune on the Shift to Electric Cars?
Here's another stock idea to consider. Much like petroleum 150 years ago, lithium power may soon shake the world, creating millionaires and reshaping geo-politics. Soon electric vehicles (EVs) may be cheaper than gas guzzlers. Some are already reaching 265 miles on a single charge.
With battery prices plummeting and charging stations set to multiply, one company stands out as the #1 stock to buy according to Zacks research.
It's not the one you think.
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>>>