Today's Must Read
Statoil (STO) to Benefit from Norwegian Upstream Projects
DOCSIS 3.1 Rollout, Mobile Venture to Boost Comcast (CMCSA)
Monday, February 26, 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 Texas Instruments (TXN), Statoil (STO) and Comcast (CMCSA). These research reports have been hand-picked from the roughly 70 reports published by our analyst team today.
Buy-rated Texas Instruments’ shares have gained +9.5% over the last three months, outperforming the Zacks General Semiconductor industry which has gained +9.2% over the same period. The Zacks analyst likes its prudent R&D investments in several high margin, high-growth areas of the analog and embedded processing markets. This is gradually increasing its exposure to industrial and automotive markets and dollar content at customers, while reducing exposure to volatile consumer/computing markets.
Margins continue to expand on secular strength in the auto and industrial markets and manufacturing efficiencies that include growing 300-millimeter Analog output. Continuous dividend hikes are a big positive. However, increasing competition, unfavorable currency effect and a high debt load remain concerns.
Shares of Strong Buy-rated Statoil are up +32.7% over the last one year, outperforming the Zacks International Integrated Oil industry (up +9.3%). Statoil is one of the major carbon-efficient producers of oil and natural gas in the world. In fact, the company’s production, especially in the Norwegian Continental Shelf, emits the lowest carbon in the industry.
During the fourth-quarter, Statoil’s earnings beat expectations and revenues increased annually. The growth can be attributed to higher equity and entitlement production along with increased realized liquids prices. The company’s Board of directors has also proposed to increase dividend for the fourth quarter by 4.5%.
The Zacks analyst expects growth from new upstream projects in various prospective fields of Norway. The company’s strong cost-control efforts amid weak oil and gas pricing environment are a big positive. During fourth-quarter 2017, Statoil managed to lower its exploration expenses by 55%.
Comcast’s shares have outperformed the Zacks Cable Television industry in the last three months, gaining +11.3% vs. +6.3%. Comcast has started the nationwide rollout of the DOCSIS 3.1 technology, with its latest xFi Advanced Gateway. Moreover, Comcast completed the nationwide rollout of its wireless services under the Xfinity Mobile brand, with plans to include YouTube in its X1 video platform.
Additionally, Comcast is venturing into residential solar programs with Sunrun. It is also working towards 5G network deployment and expanding its theme park business. However, the Zacks analyst remains concerned about the company’s operations in a saturated and competitive multi-channel U.S. video market.
Comcast lost 33,000 video customers and 13,000 voice customers in the fourth quarter of 2017, due to cord-cutting and stiff competition. Additionally, the company's high debt levels and consolidation-related woes are potential hazards.
Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Zoetis (ZTS), Lam Research (LRCX) and HP (HPQ).
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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>>>