Today's Must Read
Ground unit Drives FedEx (FDX) Aided by e-commerce Growth
Abbott (ABT) Thriving on New Product Launch, St Jude Synergy
Thursday, December 21, 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 Pfizer (PFE), FedEx (FDX) and Abbott (ABT). These research reports have been hand-picked from the roughly 70 reports published by our analyst team today.
Pfizer’s shares have underperformed the peer group so far this year (the stock is up +12.2% over this period vs. a +16.1% increase for the Zacks Large-Cap Pharmaceuticals industry). Pfizer has been working on strengthening its product portfolio through acquisitions and licensing deals.
However, Pfizer continues to face headwinds in the form of genericization of key drugs, supply challenges in the legacy Hospira portfolio, pricing pressure and rising competition, which are hurting the top line. Nonetheless, the Zacks analyst thinks new products like Ibrance, contribution from acquisitions, cost-cutting efforts and share buybacks should help the company achieve its guidance.
The company also boasts a strong pipeline and expects approximately 25 to 30 drug approvals over the next five years, including around 15 products that have blockbuster potential. Pfizer’s growing immuno-oncology portfolio offers a strong potential. Bavencio is being considered a key long-term growth driver for Pfizer.
Shares of Buy-rated FedEx have outperformed the Zacks Air Freight and Cargo industry and rival United Parcel Service on a year-to-date basis. The company has gained 34.8% while the industry it belongs to and UPS have rallied 14% and 3.2%, respectively, in the same period. Ushering in further good news, FedEx also outperformed in the second quarter of fiscal 2018 driven by increased package volumes during the current holiday season.
Growth was witnessed across all the major segments of the company. In fact, the strong growth of e-commerce is a huge positive for the company. Meanwhile, FedEx is on track to deliver a strong performance in the ongoing holiday season. Efforts to reward its shareholders through dividend payments and share buybacks are also encouraging. High costs are, however, hurting the bottom line.
Abbott’s shares have gained +8.6% over the last three months, outperforming the Zacks Medical Products industry, which has gained +3.1% over the same period Post promising third-quarter results by Abbott, the Zacks analyst is optimistic about the strong and consistent EPD and Medical Devices performance. However, the ongoing sluggish trend in the Nutrition business is a downside. However, the company continues to benefit from the recently completed St. Jude Medical buyout.
Meanwhile, Alere acquisition close is an upside too. Through 2017, Abbott is effectively focusing on core therapeutic areas. Recently, its FreeStyle Libre Flash received the FDA approval. Also, it has received approval for MR-conditional labeling for Ellipse ICD. Also, emerging market performance remains promising on several new strategic developments. On the flip side, sluggish pediatric nutrition business in some global markets continues to dent growth. Also economic problems in Venezuela are likely to remain unresolved.
Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Concho Resources (CXO), Biogen (BIIB) and Marathon Petroleum (MPC).
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