Today's Must Read
T-Mobile (TMUS) Rides on Network Strength Amid Competition
Lower Costs Aid Union Pacific (UNP), High Debt Load Ails
Monday, January 18, 2021
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 Visa (V), T-Mobile US (TMUS) and Union Pacific (UNP). These research reports have been hand-picked from the roughly 70 reports published by our analyst team today.
Visa shares have modestly outperformed the Zacks Financial Transaction Services industry over the past year (-1.5% vs. -5.3%), but the stock has lagged the broader market as cross-border volumes have suffered as a result of Covid-related travel restrictions. That said, the Zacks analyst believes that numerous acquisitions and alliances paved the way for long-term growth and consistently drove revenues.
Technological upgrades via investments bode well for Visa. Shift in payments to the digital modes like mobile, cards, online and wearables bodes well for the long haul. The acquisition of Visa Europe is a strategic fit as well. The development of coronavirus vaccine and the gradual revival of consumer confidence will lead to an increase in spending which shoud aid the company's business volumes.
A strong balance sheet boosts inorganic growth and funding of capital expenditures. However, high operating expenses weigh on the operating margins. Ramped-up client initiatives will dent the top line. Also, a slowdown in cross-border business due to coronavirus looms on.
T-Mobile shares have gained +19.9% in the last six months against the Zacks National Wireless industry’s gain of +3% on the back of steady market share gains. The Zacks analyst believes that low-priced plans for consumers and small enterprises have not improved the bottom line. Several promotional activities to lure customers from rivals have eroded its profitability.
Meanwhile, T-Mobile is optimistic about its ability to deliver $43 billion of synergies and achieve $6 billion of annualized savings from the Sprint merger. It has more than 100 million wireless customers and the largest 5G network in the United States. It overtook AT&T to become #2 in U.S. wireless. T-Mobile’s mid-band 5G network covers more than 30 million people.
It is expanding its Home Internet pilot extensively while preparing to launch the 5G Home Internet service in 2021. It intends to bring more competition to home broadband, especially in underserved rural markets. However, the company operates in a fiercely competitive and saturated U.S. telecom market.
Union Pacific shares have gained +5.3% over the past three months against the Zacks Rail industry’s rise of +9.7%. The Zacks analyst expects Union Pacific's fourth-quarter performance to have been aided by the improving freight conditions in the United States.
Mainly owing to better freight revenues, the company expects December-quarter operating revenues to be $5.1 billion, above the $4.9 billion figure recorded in third-quarter 2020. Also, Union Pacific's efforts to control costs and ramp up efficiencies, courtesy of the precision scheduled railroading model, are expected to have boosted its bottom-line performance in the fourth quarter. Detailed results will be out on Jan 21.
Due to cost cuts, the company expects adjusted operating ratio (operating expenses as a % of revenues) to improve to 55.6% from 59% reported in the September quarter. However, tepid automotive demand might hurt fourth-quarter results. Deterioration in the debt-to-EBITDA ratio is an added woe.
Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include AstraZeneca (AZN), Lowe's Companies (LOW) and 3M Company (MMM).
These Stocks Are Poised to Soar Past the Pandemic
The COVID-19 outbreak has shifted consumer behavior dramatically, and a handful of high-tech companies have stepped up to keep America running. Right now, investors in these companies have a shot at serious profits. For example, Zoom jumped 108.5% in less than 4 months while most other stocks were sinking.
Our research shows that 5 cutting-edge stocks could skyrocket from the exponential increase in demand for “stay at home” technologies. This could be one of the biggest buying opportunities of this decade, especially for those who get in early.
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>>>