Today's Must Read
Loan Growth Aids U.S. Bancorp (USB), Technology Costs a Woe
Rising Expenses Weighs on Alibaba's (BABA) Grocery Push
Wednesday, August 16, 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 Home Depot (HD), U.S. Bancorp (USB) and Alibaba (BABA).These research reports have been hand-picked from the roughly 70 reports published by our analyst team today.
Home Depot's shares are up +10.3% over the last one year, matching the Zacks Retail sector (also up +10.3%) and marginally behind the broader market (S&P 500 up +12.7%) in that same time period. The company has been consistently gaining from its interconnected strategy, focus on Pro customers, and housing market recovery. These factors helped the company post a stellar second-quarter fiscal 2017 performance, which marked its highest ever quarterly sales and earnings.
Pro category sales continued to outperform, driven by constant efforts to enrich customers’ experiences. The sturdy first half performance and expectations of improved home prices encouraged the company to raise its fiscal 2017 view. However, gross margin remains plateaued, and is likely to fall 10 bps in fiscal 2017. Also, competition from online retailers may impact results.
Shares of U.S. Bancorp have underperformed the Zacks categorized Major Regional Banks industry over the last one year, gaining +22.6% vs. +34.2%. The company’s second-quarter 2017 earnings outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate. High interest income was recorded on rising rates. Increased average loans and deposits balances reflect organic growth.
But the Zacks analyst thinks the company’s prospects will likely get support from its solid business model, core franchise and diverse revenue streams. Additionally, the approval of Financial Choice Act is anticipated to support U.S. Bancorp’s profitability moving ahead. Notably, the bank received the Fed's approval for its 2017 capital plan. However, escalating expenses and litigations remain key concerns.
Alibaba's shares have outperformed the broader market as well as the peer e-commerce space over the last year (it is up more than +62.7%), with the trend expected to remain in place given continued growth in its core e-commerce business and growing cloud computing services. The company’s fiscal fourth-quarter results exceeded expectations on revenues but lagged the same on earnings.
The Zacks analyst likes its continued efforts to develop new products, international growth opportunities, strong financial position and growing cloud computing services. However, macro headwinds, continued investments and increasing competition from Tencent Holdings and Baidu remain the overhangs.
Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include CME Group (CME), Manulife (MFC) and Amphenol (APH).
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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>>>