Today's Must Read
5G Traction & Customer-Centric Approach Aid Verizon (VZ)
Sanofi (SNY) Specialty Care Unit Helps Sales, Pipeline Solid
Monday, December 14, 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 Facebook (FB), Verizon Communications (VZ) and Sanofi (SNY). These research reports have been hand-picked from the roughly 70 reports published by our analyst team today.
Facebook shares have outperformed the S&P 500 in the year to date period (+33.2% vs. +13.9%). The Zacks analyst believes that Facebook is benefiting from steady user growth across all regions, particularly Asia Pacific. Increased engagement for its products like Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger and Facebook Watch is a major growth driver.
However, Facebook expects user-base growth to be flat or slightly down in the United States and Canada in the fourth quarter of 2020, sequentially. The company expects ad-revenue growth on a year-over-year basis to be better than the third quarter’s growth rate, driven by continued strong advertiser demand during the holiday season.
Strong demand for Oculus 2 is expected to boost other revenues. However, changes made by Apple and Google in their mobile operating systems and browser platforms have limited Facebook’s ability to track user-activity trend, which is a headwind.
Shares of Verizon have lost -1.4% over the past year against the Zacks Wireless National industry’s gain of +2.7%. The Zacks analyst believes that Verizon is well positioned to gain from a disciplined network strategy, including accelerated 5G deployment, despite uncertainties stemming from the ongoing pandemic.
The company has been building its 5G Ultra-Wideband network to enable innovations that will support the evolving customer behavior. It expects to witness solid 5G momentum as it heads into the fourth quarter of 2020 backed by customer-centric business model and diligent execution of operational plans.
However, Verizon is facing significant headwinds within the media business due to weak advertising trends. It operates in an intensely competitive U.S. wireless market that strains margins. Adoption of unlimited data plans has resulted in reduction of wireless service revenues.
Sanofi shares have lost -5.5% over the past six months against the Zacks Large Cap Pharmaceuticals industry’s rise of +9.1%. The Zacks analyst believes that Sanofi’s Specialty Care unit is on a strong footing, particularly with regular label expansion of Dupixent, which has become the key top-line driver for Sanofi.
Meanwhile, Sanofi’s R&D pipeline is strong and several data read-outs are expected in 2021. 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.
Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include QUALCOMM (QCOM), Altria Group (MO) and ICICI Bank (IBN).
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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>>>