Today's Must Read
Increased Mining Yield & Liquidity Boost Vale (VALE)
General Mills (GIS) Strong on Innovations, Rising Costs Hurt
Friday, March 23, 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 Oracle (ORCL), Vale (VALE) and General Mills (GIS). These research reports have been hand-picked from the roughly 70 reports published by our analyst team today.
Buy-rated Oracle’s shares have underperformed the Zacks Software industry in the last year, gaining +2.7% vs. +29.6%. However, Oracle is benefiting from strong adoption of its cloud-based solutions. Both earnings and revenues increased on a year-over-year basis in the third-quarter fiscal 2018. However, management provided soft outlook for the cloud business, which will remain an overhang on the shares in the near term.
Nevertheless, the Zacks analyst thinks the company’s growing cloud market share will continue to drive top-line growth in the long haul. Further, partnerships with the likes of Accenture are helping the company rapidly expand its cloud-base clientele.
Moreover, this has helped in improving the company's competitive position against the likes of salesforce.com and Workday. Anticipated strong demand for the next-generation autonomous database supported by machine learning will boost competitive position against AWS. However, higher investments on IaaS platform will affect gross margin expansion in the near term.
Shares of Strong Buy-rated Vale have handily outperformed the Zacks Basic Materials sector in the last year (+35.2% vs. +14.1%). The company’s adjusted earnings in fourth-quarter 2017 surpassed expectations by 56.5%. Its top-line performance strengthened 1.3% sequentially on the back of increased sales volumes of Ferrous Minerals segment and higher sales prices of Base Metals segment.
Moreover, Vale’s aggregate iron ore, pellets, coal, cobalt and gold output levels improved on a year-over-year basis in fourth-quarter 2017. In addition, the Zacks analyst thinks steady improvement in operational efficacy on the back of greater cost discipline and higher mining productivity will likely work in the company’s favor. Vale is even deleveraging its balance sheet with its ongoing liability management program.
General Mills’ shares have lagged the market in the last year as market participants shifted away from consumer staples and other high dividend stocks. General Mills’ fiscal third-quarter earnings met expectations but revenues lagged the same. Adjusted earnings improved 10% and revenues grew 2.3% year over year due to higher sales across the board.
Organically, sales grew 1%, same as the prior quarter due to positive price/mix and currency effect. This marks the fourth consecutive quarter of sales improvement.
That said, gross margin and operating margin contracted 250 basis points (bps) and 120 bps, respectively, reflecting further deterioration from the first half. The downside was due to higher input, freight and manufacturing costs. Meanwhile, the food giant has lowered its fiscal 2018 profit outlook to reflect higher supply chain costs.
Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Aflac (AFL), Vertex (VRTX) and Mylan (MYL).
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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>>>