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Research Daily

Thursday, July 20, 2017

The Zacks Research Daily features the best research output of our analyst team. In today’s write-up, we are featuring analyst reports on 16 major stocks, including reports on Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Coca-Cola (KO), and Honeywell (HON). These reports have been hand-picked from amongst the 70 or so stock research reports published by our analyst team today.

You can see all of today’s research reports here >>

In addition to these stock research reports, we are also giving you a real-time scorecard of the ongoing Q2 earnings season where 16 S&P 500 members reported results this morning and a further 9 index members, including Microsoft and Visa, on deck to report after the market’s close today.

You can read more about our views about this earnings season in the weekly Earnings Trends report  >>>> Earnings Season Off to a Good Start

Q2 Earnings Scorecard (as of Thursday, July 20th)

Including all of this morning’s releases, we now have Q2 results from 76 S&P 500 members that combined account for 21.1% of the index's total market capitalization. Total earnings for these 76 index members are up +8.6% on +5,4% higher revenues, with 75% beating EPS estimates and 71.1% beating revenue estimates. The proportion of companies beating both EPS and revenue estimates is 56.6%.

The comparison charts below help put the Q2 results thus far in historical context.

As you can see, the Q2 earnings growth (+8.6%) is tracking below what this same group of companies achieved in the preceding period (+16.5%), but is otherwise notably above the 4- and 12-quarter average levels. Importantly, there is clear momentum on the revenue side, both in terms of growth as well as positive surprises. Not only is the Q2 revenue growth (+5.4%) on par with the growth pace of the preceding period, but notably above what we have been seeing in recent quarters.

You can see in the chart below the proportion of companies beating both EPS and revenue estimates.

Plenty of Q2 reports are still to come. But there is no question that are off to a good and reassuring start in this reporting cycle.

Today’s Featured Research Reports

Buy rated Johnson & Johnson shares have gained +17.4% year to date, outperforming the large-cap pharma space (up +12.2%). J&J reported mixed Q2 results, beating on earnings but missing on sales. However, J&J is optimistic that sales growth will accelerate in 2H17. Though headwinds like negative currency movement, generics, pricing pressure and soft global market conditions remain, the Zacks analyst thinks new products including Xarelto, Stelara, Darzalex, and Imbruvica remain the key to J&J’s growth. Meanwhile, share buybacks and the restructuring initiative should provide bottom-line support. J&J is also making rapid progress with its pipeline and line extensions. The Actelion buy adds an attractive new therapeutic area – PAH. However, sluggish growth in the Consumer segment due to category slowdown is a concern.

(You can read the full research report on Johnson & Johnson here >>>).

Shares of Coca-Cola have gained +8.1% in the year-to-date period underperforming the Zacks Consumer Staples sector as a whole, which has gained +9.5%. The Zacks analyst likes Coca-Cola’s increased marketing investments, which are driving volume growth in stable markets like North America. Moreover, the company is on track to achieving total annualized productivity saving target of approximately $3.8 billion by 2019.  Also, Coca-Cola’s new revenue platforms should drive growth over the long term. However, the top line needs to show sustained improvement. Coca-Cola’s sales are being weighed down by declining demand in certain emerging and developing markets and shift in consumer preference. Also, severe macroeconomic challenges in certain international markets and the stronger U.S. dollar have impacted results for the cola giant, which generates about half of its sales abroad.

(You can read the full research report on Coca-Cola here >>>).

Buy rated Honeywell’s shares have outperformed the diversified operations industry gaining +17.5% vs. +2.3% in the year-to-date period. The Zacks analyst like the company’s continuing efforts on increasing its presence in high-growth regions. Additionally it is building a robust pipeline of new products and has regularly fine-tuned its portfolio to focus on core businesses. Diligent focus on working capital management, free cash flow generation and a conservative balance sheet remain key positive attributes. Earnings for 2017 are expected to be up 7–10% year over year to $6.90–$7.10 per share on favorable growth dynamics. However, adverse foreign currency translations, high R&D expenses to fend off competition and volatility in commodity prices related to the Brexit referendum are likely to peg back Honeywell’s growth momentum to some extent.

 (You can read the full research report on Honeywell here >>>).

Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Cummins (CMI), Crown Castle (CCI) and WEC Energy (WEC).

Sell These Stocks. Now.

Just released, today's 220 Zacks Rank #5 Strong Sells demand urgent attention. If any are lurking in your portfolio or Watch List, they should be removed immediately. These sinister companies because many appear to be sound investments. However, from 1988 through 2016, stocks from our Strong Sell list have actually performed 6X worse than the S&P 500.
See today's Zacks "Strong Sells" absolutely free >>.

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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