Today's Must Read
Key Brands & COVID-19 Vaccine to Drive Pfizer's (PFE) Sales
Solid Adoption of Cloud Solutions Aids IBM Amid High Debt
Wednesday, March 10, 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 UnitedHealth Group (UNH), Pfizer (PFE) and International Business Machines (IBM). These research reports have been hand-picked from the roughly 70 reports published by our analyst team today.
UnitedHealth shares have outperformed the Zacks Medical Insurance industry over the past year (+26.7% vs. +17.2%). The Zacks analyst believes that the company remains well poised to gain from its government business, comprising both Medicaid and Medicare Advantage.
The company’s top line is bolstered by new deals, renewed agreements and expansion of service offerings. Its numerous acquisitions bode well for its inorganic growth profile. The company’s solid health services segment provides significant diversification benefits.
A sturdy balance sheet and consistent cash flow generation is another positive, which has resulted in a solid capital position. This has empowered the company to engage in share buybacks and dividend payments programs. However, it is witnessing a slowdown in international and commercial business.
Shares of Pfizer have lost -4.5% in the last six months against the Zacks Large-Cap Pharmaceuticals industry’s gain of +2.1%. The Zacks analyst believes that strong growth of key brands like Ibrance, Inlyta and Eliquis is likely to drive sales for the company.
Its COVID-19 vaccine candidate, developed in record time, is now approved for emergency use in several countries. Pfizer boasts a sustainable pipeline with multiple late-stage pipeline programs that can drive growth.
However, currency headwinds and pricing pressure are key top-line headwinds. Meanwhile, its Upjohn unit was a cash rich business and its divestiture will reduce the company’s cash flow.
IBM shares have gained +1.5% over the past three months against the S&P 500’s gain of +6.2%. The Zacks analyst believes that the company is poised to gain from spin-off of legacy infrastructure services business as it focuses on its hybrid cloud strategy.
Strong patent portfolio and solid uptake of IBM’s cloud-based solutions, blockchain, security, and digital transformation offerings also bode well. Furthermore, synergies from Red Hat buyout are strengthening its competitive position in the hybrid cloud market.
Moreover, intense competition in the cloud computing market from Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure remains a major headwind. Additionally, higher current debt levels amid extensive restructuring activities are other concerns.
Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Humana (HUM), Align Technology (ALGN) and Exelon (EXC).
5 Stocks Set to Double
Each was hand-picked by a Zacks expert as the #1 favorite stock to gain +100% or more in 2020. Each comes from a different sector and has unique qualities and catalysts that could fuel exceptional growth.
Most of the stocks in this report are flying under Wall Street radar, which provides a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor.
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>>>