Today's Must Read
Medtronic (MDT) Strong on Product Launches, Margin Woe Stays
Eni (E) Continues to Gain from Upstream Projects in Egypt
Thursday, December 28, 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 Comcast (CMCSA), Medtronic (MDT) and Eni (E). These research reports have been hand-picked from the roughly 70 reports published by our analyst team today.
Comcast’s shares have outperformed the Zacks Cable TV industry in the year-to-date period (+17% vs. +12.5%). Comcast has started the nationwide rollout of the DOCSIS 3.1 technology, with its latest xFi Advanced Gateway.
Further, Comcast completed the nationwide rollout of its wireless services under the Xfinity Mobile brand, with plans to include YouTube in its X1 video platform. Also, the company is venturing into residential solar programs with a 40-month deal with Sunrun. Comcast is working towards 5G network deployment and continues to expand its theme park business. Through these actions, Comcast aims to check customer churn and provide viewers with more streaming options.
However, the Zacks analyst remains concerned about the company’s operations in a saturated and competitive multi-channel U.S. video market. Comcast also continues to lose video customers due to cord-cutting. High debt levels, consolidation-related woes and mounting programming costs are other potential hazards.
Shares of Medtronic have outperformed the Zacks Medical Products industry over the last three months, gaining +5.1% vs. +3.4%. Medtronic exited the fiscal second quarter on a mixed note. While it demonstrated improved segmental performances at CER, escalating costs and expenses continue to weigh on the bottom line. Unfavorable currency translation also acted as a dampener.
On the bright side, all major business groups contributed to solid top-line growth at CER, which highlighted sustainability across groups and regions, in addition to displaying successful integration and achievement of synergy targets. The Zacks analyst also likes the solid growth trend in the United States as well as healthy global acceptance of its advanced therapies.
The recent launch of a telehealth solution, the receipt of FDA approval and commercial launch of Azure pacemakers buoy optimism. Apart from product innovation, the company is focusing on geographical diversification of its businesses. The stabilizing trend in the global Cardiac Rhythm & Heart Failure (CRHF) market is another upside.
Eni’s shares have underperformed the Zacks Integrated Oil industry in the year-to-date period (+3.6% vs. +7.1%). Eni expects oil and gas production in 2017-2020 to grow at 3% per year. For 2017, Eni projects oil and natural gas output at 1.84 million (BOE/D), up 5% year over year.
Start-ups of new upstream projects in Ghana, Angola, Indonesia, Mexico as well as Egypt has been supporting Eni's crude production growth. Eni commenced natural gas production in Zohr field, located off the coast of Egypt. This new start up would add considerably to the company’s production.
Moreover, Eni’s exit from low-profit operations and broadening of its international asset base hold promise. Eni completely exited from the gas sector in Hungary with the sale of its stake in Tigaz Zrt. On top of that, enhancing oil and gas productions from key upstream projects while maintaining lower capital spending helped the company to generate organic cash balance of €5 billion. Eni expects to fund its future capital spending and dividend payments from this fund.
Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Barclays (BCS), Equity Residential (EQR) and Air Products (APD).
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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>>>