Today's Must Read
5G Mobile Deployment Plans Aids Verizon (VZ) Amid Competition
Focus on Core Operations Aid Citigroup (C), Legal Woes Linger
Friday July 7 2017
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 Procter & Gamble (PG), Verizon (VZ), and Citigroup (C). These research reports have been hand-picked from the roughly 70 reports published by our analyst team today.
Procter & Gamble’s shares have outperformed the Zacks Consumer Staples sector in the past year (+1.9% vs. -1.4%). However, P&G shares have underperformed the S&P 500 index in the year-to-date period (up +3.9% vs. +7.8%). The company has been struggling to boost market growth for the last few quarters. Also, significant negative forex impact has been hurting sales. But the Zacks analyst likes the fact that P&G is speeding up innovations and investments to counter softening industry growth. Its productivity improvements and aggressive cost-saving efforts are also consistently helping to boost profit levels.
Shares of Verizon shares have been laggards over the past year -- the stock is down -22.1% over the past 12 months vs. AT&T's -12.7% decline and the +13% gain for the S&P 500 index. Verizon's underperformance reflects the market's concerns about the company's muddled strategy in the digital media domain and rising competitive pressures in its core U.S. wireless business.
The Yahoo purchase, as well as other previously acquired digital properties like AOL, Huffington Post will boost its digital media suite. The long-term expectation is that these assets will give it a sizable enough platform to capture digital marketing dollars. The jury is still out on the long-term viability of these efforts, but the company is also trying to be a player in the online TV streaming space and defend its leadership position in the wireless market through 5G wireless network trials.
The company's dividend appears safe (currently yields more than 5%), but the inherent capital intensity of its core business and the need for purchases on the digital side ends up eating up more than it generates in its operations. In the updated research report issued today, the Zacks analyst discusses the pros and cons of investing in Verizon shares at present.
Citigroup’s shares have outperformed the Zacks categorized Major Regional Banks industry over the last six months, gaining +13.1% vs +6.8%. The Zacks analyst likes the company’s restructuring and streamlining efforts, strategic investments in core business and expense management. The recent Fed approval of the company's 2017 capital plan is also encouraging. Moreover, the passage of the Financial Choice Act will act as a tailwind for the company in coming quarters. However, several issues including litigation burden provide cause for concern. Margins remain under pressure despite rising rates.
Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Albemarle (ALB), Kimberly-Clark (KMB) and Becton, Dickinson (BDX).
More Stock News: 8 Companies Verge on Apple-Like Run
Did you miss Apple's 9X stock explosion after they launched their iPhone in 2007? Now 2017 looks to be a pivotal year to get in on another emerging technology expected to rock the market. Demand could soar from almost nothing to $42 billion by 2025. Reports suggest it could save 10 million lives per decade, which could in turn save $200 billion in U.S. healthcare costs.
A bonus Zacks Special Report names this breakthrough and the 8 best stocks to exploit it. Like Apple in 2007, these companies are already strong and coiling for potential mega-gains. Click to see them right now >>
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>>>