Today's Must Read
Key Brands & COVID-19 Vaccine to Drive Pfizer's (PFE) Sales
Accenture (ACN) Rides on Acquisitions Amid Pricing Pressure
Friday, April 16, 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 Accenture (ACN). These research reports have been hand-picked from the roughly 70 reports published by our analyst team today.
Shares of UnitedHealth have outperformed the Zacks Medical Insurance industry over the past year (+33.4% vs. +29.1%). The Zacks analyst believes that the company’s top line is bolstered by numerous acquisitions, new deals, renewed agreements and expansion of service offerings.
Its solid health services segment provides significant diversification benefits. Further, the company remains well poised to gain from its government business. A sturdy balance sheet and consistent cash flow generation are other positives, which led to a solid capital position.
This enables the company to engage in share buybacks and dividend payments. A strong 2021 view buoys investor optimism on the stock. However, the company is witnessing a slowdown in international and commercial business.
Pfizer shares have gained +0.8% over the last six months against the Zacks Large-Cap Pharmaceuticals industry’s gain of +6.5%. The Zacks analyst believes that the Consumer Healthcare joint venture with Glaxo and the merger of Upjohn unit with Mylan has made Pfizer a smaller company with a diversified portfolio of innovative drugs and vaccines.
Further, Pfizer expects strong growth of key brands like Ibrance, Inlyta and Eliquis to drive sales. Furthermore, its COVID-19 vaccine candidate is now approved for emergency use in several countries.
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.
Shares of Accenture have gained +12.7% in the past three months against the Zacks Consulting industry’s gain of +12.3%. The Zacks analyst believes that the company has been steadily gaining traction in its outsourcing and consulting businesses.
Moreover, it has been strategically enhancing its cloud and digital marketing suite through acquisitions and partnerships. Accenture’s strong operating cash flow has helped it reward its shareholders in the form of dividends as well as pursue opportunities in areas that show true potential.
However, pricing pressure due to significant competition from strong companies like Genpact, Cognizant and Infosys, remains a concern. Global presence exposes it to foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations. Buyout-related integration risks continue to remain a concern.
Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Wells Fargo (WFC), SAP SE (SAP) and Uber Technologies (UBER).
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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>>>