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Research Daily

Thursday, May 31, 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 3M (MMM), Altria (MO) and Stryker (SYK). These research reports have been hand-picked from the roughly 70 reports published by our analyst team today.

You can see all of today’s research reports here >>>

3M’s shares have lost -2.8% in the last year, outperforming the Zacks Diversified Operations industry, which has declined -12.9% over the same period. The Zacks analyst likes 3M's global footprint, diversified product portfolio and the ability to penetrate in different markets.

Portfolio management, investment in innovation and business transformation are the three key levers on which the company intends to focus. 3M raised its earlier guidance for 2018 on strong quarterly results and improved business outlook.

Furthermore, 3M is standardizing its business processes through a new, global ERP system. However, adverse foreign currency fluctuations are likely to negatively impact the earnings in the short-term. 3M is also facing increased pension expenses as its workforce begins to retire. The related extra costs are a drag on the company’s bottom line.

3M further remains susceptible to commodity price risks. Stiff competition from local players in the market remains another significant headwind.

(You can read the full research report on 3M here >>>).

Shares of Altria have outperformed the Zacks Tobacco industry in the last six months (-17.5% vs. -20.1%), aided by expansion in the smokeless products category. Stern government regulations combined with increased health consciousness has been taking a toll on cigarette sales. This has long been hurting Altria’s smokeable segment performance.

Notably, domestic cigarette shipment volumes fell 4.2% year over year during first-quarter 2018, wherein total cigarette retail share declined to 50.3%. Moreover, the FDA’s proposition to lower nicotine in cigarettes to non-addictive or minimally addictive levels is feared to further mar volumes in this category.

However, the Zacks analyst thinks Altria has been progressing well with its reduced-risk products. This fueled its smokeless product revenue in the first quarter, wherein earnings kept its stellar year-over-year growth trend intact. Driven by such positives and gains from lower taxes, management provided a favorable earnings view for 2018.

(You can read the full research report on Altria here >>>).

Stryker’s shares have gained +21% over the last year, outperforming the Zacks Medical Products industry, which has increased +13% over the same period. The company’s high domestic and international growth in revenues buoys optimism. The Zacks analyst thinks continued demand for the Mako Total Knee Platform and a diversified product portfolio have consistently driven the company’s growth.

Strong guidance for the second quarter and full year hold promise. Moreover, surging operating margins reflect the company’s bullish prospects. Stryker’s acquisition-driven strategy is expected to boost growth by expanding existing product offerings across all business segments, while an enhanced international presence should bolster its global hold.

However, supply issues in the Puerto Rico facility and a declining gross margin raise concern. Furthermore, the recall of the Oral Care lineup is a major drawback. The company is currently being plagued by foreign currency volatility and reduced demand for healthcare products.

(You can read the full research report on Stryker here >>>).

Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include UnitedHealth (UNH), Autodesk (ADSK) and Veeva Systems (VEEV).

Will You Make a Fortune on the Shift to Electric Cars?

Here's another stock idea to consider. Much like petroleum 150 years ago, lithium power may soon shake the world, creating millionaires and reshaping geo-politics. Soon electric vehicles (EVs) may be cheaper than gas guzzlers. Some are already reaching 265 miles on a single charge.

With battery prices plummeting and charging stations set to multiply, one company stands out as the #1 stock to buy according to Zacks research.

It's not the one you think.

See This Ticker Free >>

Mark Vickery

Senior Editor

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>>>

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