Today's Must Read
Home Depot's (HD) Focus on Pro Customers to Bolster Growth
Cisco (CSCO) Rides on Security Products & Strategic Deals
Tuesday, July 17, 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 AT&T (T), Home Depot (HD) and Cisco (CSCO). These research reports have been hand-picked from the roughly 70 reports published by our analyst team today.
Buy-ranked AT&T’s shares have decreased -9.4% in the last three months, underperforming the Zacks Wireless National industry's fall of -1.8%. AT&T is gearing up to launch the first standards-based mobile 5G services in multiple U.S. markets by the end of 2018.
The Zacks analyst thinks the company will benefit from its probable merger with Time Warner. The deal is likely to reshape the industry dynamics, creating a new media behemoth. It will enable the power packed combination of AT&T’s data and Time Warner’s content to create new kinds of online videos and sell targeted advertisements.
AT&T intends to acquire AlienVault to enhance its line of cybersecurity products designed for small and medium-sized businesses. It also inked an agreement to acquire AppNexus to augment its foothold in the digital ad sales market. AT&T’s wireline division is facing losses in access lines due to competitive pressure from voice-over-Internet protocol service providers.
Shares of Buy-ranked Home Depot have gained +30.7% over the last year, outperforming the Zacks Retail Building Products industry’s +27.8% increase. The Zacks analyst thinks that this performance is attributed to its five-year long trend of beating earnings estimates, which continued in first-quarter fiscal 2018.
Further, both the top and bottom line improved year over year in the first quarter. The company is gaining 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.
Going into the fiscal second quarter, the company witnessed strength in all lines of business in the first few weeks of May. Consequently, it provided an optimistic view for fiscal 2018. However, top line lagged estimates mainly due to colder-than-normal weather that led to softness in the spring season categories, particularly garden. This softness also resulted in a decline in comparable transactions.
Buy-ranked Cisco's shares have outperformed the Zacks Networking industry in the past year, gaining +34.9% vs. +32.6%. Strong contribution from acquisitions, security, Infrastructure Platforms and applications drove are positives.
The Zacks analyst thinks Cisco’s expanding footprint in the rapidly growing security market presents significant growth opportunity. Strengthening collaboration portfolio which now includes Webex Teams and AI-based Accompany bodes well. Partnerships with Telenor, Apple, IBM, Microsoft and Google Cloud are positive. Divestiture of a portion of Cisco’s NDS video assets is likely to mitigate the sluggishness witnessed in other product segment.
However, weakness in switching and routing is a headwind. Ongoing transition to subscription-based model will continue to hurt the top line. Further, dampening service provider business and intense competition from peers are other concerns.
Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Boston Scientific (BSX), Ford (F) and Mondelez (MDLZ).
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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>>>