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Research Daily

Thursday, June 7, 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 Merck (MRK), Occidental Petroleum (OXY) and Capital One Financial (COF). 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 >>>

Buy-ranked Merck’s shares have outperformed the Zacks Large Cap Pharmaceuticals industry year to date, gaining +10% versus a loss of -4.0%. The Zacks analyst thinks Merck’s new products like Keytruda, Lynparza and Bridion should continue to contribute meaningfully to the top line in 2018.

Keytruda sales are gaining strong momentum with approval for additional indications especially in the first-line lung cancer setting as it is the only anti-PD-1 approved in this setting. Its Animal Health unit is also strong and remains a core growth driver for Merck.

Meanwhile, Merck will continue to focus on cost-cutting initiatives to drive the bottom line. However, generic competition for several drugs and pricing pressure will continue to be overhangs on the top line. Rising competitive pressure on the diabetes franchise and on products like Isentress (HIV), Zepatier (HCV) and Zostavax (vaccine) will remain headwinds in 2018.

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

Shares of Strong Buy-ranked Occidental Petroleum have outperformed the Zacks Domestic Integrated Oil industry in the last year, gaining +47.5% vs. +43.5%. As oil prices continue to improve, Occidental Petroleum gains from more oil production in the Permian Resources and concentrating on high-margin production region.

The Zacks analyst thinks ongoing capital investment will further strengthen the existing operations of the company. The company generates stable cash flow and its Chemical plant will further improve this metric. However, Occidental Petroleum, like other oil and natural gas companies, faces the risks of cost overruns and development interruptions due to delays in drilling and other approvals.

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

Capital One Financial’s shares have outperformed the Zacks Consumer Loans industry in the last six months, gaining +0.7% vs. -1.1%. Further, the company has an impressive earnings surprise history, having earnings expectations in three of the trailing four quarters.

The Zacks analyst thinks that its solid liquidity position, strength in credit card and online banking businesses, higher interest rates and solid loan balance will aid growth. Also, benefits from the lower tax rates and restructuring initiatives will support its financials.

However, mounting operating expenses are likely to keep the company’s bottom line under pressure. Expenses are expected to remain high driven by the company’s business restructuring efforts. Also, deteriorating asset quality remains a major near-term concern.

(You can read the full research report on Capital One Financial here >>>).

Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Kimberly-Clark (KMB), Anadarko Petroleum (APC) and Allstate (ALL).

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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