Today's Must Read
New Drugs Boost Glaxo (GSK), Competition Hurts Advair
Marriott (MAR) Rides on Starwood Buyout & Expansion Plans
Thursday, February 22, 2018
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), Glaxo (GSK) and Marriott (MAR). These research reports have been hand-picked from the roughly 70 reports published by our analyst team today.
Home Depot’s shares have gained +26.5% over the last one year, outperforming the Zacks Retail Building Products industry’s +23.5% increase backed by its five-year long trend of beating earnings estimates, which continued in fourth-quarter fiscal 2017. Further, sales topped estimates for the sixth straight quarter.
Results gained from strength in core business as well as relentless focus on affording innovative products, boosting interconnected customer experience and driving productivity. Steady housing market recovery and strong customer demand also remain tailwinds. Further, the company provided an optimistic view for fiscal 2018.
Concurrently, it reiterated financial targets for fiscal 2020 and raised the return on invested capital target to reflect gains from the recent tax reform. However, gross margins continued to be soft due to impacts from lower margin hurricane-related sales. The company anticipates gross margins to decline in fiscal 2018, excluding the 53rd week, due to tight transportation market.
Shares of Glaxo have underperformed the Zacks Large Cap Pharmaceuticals industry over the last year, losing -10.4% versus the industry’s +9.7% increase. Glaxo beat estimates for both earnings and sales in Q4.
The Zacks analyst likes Glaxo’s efforts to develop its pipeline. Performance of new products has been encouraging. Meanwhile, back-to-back approvals of three new products -- Trelegy Ellipta, Shingrix and Juluca -- have strengthened Glaxo’s competitive position.
However, persistent challenges like stiff competition, genericization, pricing pressure and slowing growth in emerging markets have been hurting sales. Pricing pressure and competitive dynamics are hurting sales in Glaxo’s respiratory franchise, particularly the older products.
Meanwhile, its top-selling product, Advair is also expected to face generic competition in the United States this year, which will further hurt sales. The slowdown in sales of the Consumer Healthcare segment in 2017 is also a concern.
Buy-rated Marriott’s shares have outperformed the Zacks Hotels industry over the last one year. (the stock is up +63.2% vs. +42.7% gain for the industry). Marriott is currently benefiting from Starwood acquisition, rising North-American business, sizeable international exposure and an attractive brand-position. The company also saw upward revisions for 2018 earnings over the last 60 days.
Notably, with the acquisition of Starwood, Marriott became the world's largest hotel company. In fact, this buyout is likely to result in a bigger brand with increased scale and a robust development pipeline in the long run.
Yet, lingering political uncertainties in key international markets and currency headwinds might continue to limit revenue growth. Moreover, integration risks linked to Starwood purchase is an added concern. Even so, its investments in technology for hotel bookings are anticipated to improve guest experience.
Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Valero (VLO), DISH Network (DISH) and O'Reilly Automotive (ORLY).
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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>>>