Back to top

Research Daily

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

The Zacks Research Daily presents the best research output of our analyst team. Today's Research Daily features updated research reports on 12 major stocks, including UnitedHealth (UNH), PepsiCo (PEP) and Amgen (AMGN). These research reports have been hand-picked from roughly 70 reports published by our analyst team today.

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

Buy-rated UnitedHealth's shares have outperformed the Zacks Medical Insurance industry's rally over the past year (up +34.2% vs. +33.8%). UnitedHealth Group’s earnings surpassed expectations and increased year over year. Higher revenues, strength in both segments — UnitedHealthcare and Optum — plus membership growth led to this outperformance. The Zacks analyst thinks the company's robust Government business and continued strong performance at Optum are driving long-term growth. Its international business and strong capital position are the other positives. The company has been witnessing an increase in membership over the past many years. It once again raised its 2018 earnings guidance, buoying optimism among investors in the stock. However, the company is witnessing membership pressure in its commercial business. Increasing consolidation will also heat up competition in the industry.

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

Shares of PepsiCo have gained +16.8% in the past three months, outperforming the Zacks Soft Beverages industry's rally of +8.1%, driven by a solid earnings trend with beat recorded in the last 10 quarters. Strong performances in its international division, primarily higher revenue growth in developing and emerging markets, have been aiding results. The company has reported positive sales surprise in six of the last eight quarters. The Zacks analyst thinks the company is also gaining from significant strength in the snacks business, which has mostly offset the sluggishness in beverage category. Moreover, the company’s product innovations to include healthier food assortments and non-carbonated drinks in its portfolio should boost sales. However, consumers’ awareness on health and wellness, alongside new taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages and growing regulatory pressures are affecting CSD sales.

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

Amgen’s shares have gained +12.5% year to date versus the Zacks Biomedical and Genetics industry's decline of -5.4%. Amgen beat expectations for both earnings and sales in second-quarter 2018 and also raised the full-year expectations. The Zacks analyst thinks the Amgen’s newer drugs – Prolia, Xgeva, Blincyto, Repatha, Kyprolis – are performing well. Amgen is also progressing with its pipeline and the recent approval of migraine candidate Aimovig was a huge boost. However, Amgen has some challenges in store, given the slowdown in sales of mature drugs like Enbrel, Aranesp and Neulasta, which are facing an array of branded and generic competitors. Volume growth of new drugs may not be enough to offset lost sales due to the decline in mature brands. While Neupogen is already facing U.S. biosimilar competition, Neulasta, Epogen and Sensipar could start facing the same this year. Meanwhile, uptake of key new drug, Repatha has been slow due to payer restrictions.

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

Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Mylan (MYL), Textron (TXT) and ABB Ltd (ABB).

Today's Stocks from Zacks' Hottest Strategies

It's hard to believe, even for us at Zacks. But while the market gained +21.9% in 2017, our top stock-picking screens have returned +115.0%, +109.3%, +104.9%, +98.6%, and +67.1%.

And this outperformance has not just been a recent phenomenon. Over the years it has been remarkably consistent. From 2000 - 2017, the composite yearly average gain for these strategies has beaten the market more than 19X over. Maybe even more remarkable is the fact that we're willing to share their latest stocks with you without cost or obligation.

See Them Free>>

Note: Our Director of Research 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>>>

Featured Reports

New Upgrades

New Downgrades