Today's Must Read
J&J's (JNJ) Sales Benefit From Strength Across Segments
Robust Comps to Aid McDonald's (MCD), Traffic Woes Stay
Friday, January 14, 2022
The Zacks Research Daily presents the best research output of our analyst team. Today's Research Daily features a real-time update on the Q4 earnings season, in addidtion to new research reports on 16 major stocks, including Apple Inc. (AAPL), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), and McDonald's Corporation (MCD). 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 >>>
Q4 Earnings Season Scorecard
The big banks kicked off the Q4 reporting cycle for the Finance sector, with the market underwhelmed with the JPMorgan (JPM) and Citigroup (C) results, but appreciating Wells Fargo's (WFC) improving financials.
JPMorgan's Q4 earnings aren't bad, but the stock had a pretty good run ahead of these results and it would have been very difficult for the quarterly report to build on that momentum.
In other words, the reaction of bank stocks to the quarterly numbers should be seen more in a sell-the-news type of framework than anything fundamentally wrong with the results.
Including this morning's bank results, we now have Q4 results from 26 S&P 500 members or 5.2% of the index's total membership. Total Q4 earnings for these 26 index members are up +19.2% from the same period last year on +11.7% higher revenues, with 88.5% beating EPS estimates and 84.6% beating revenue estimates.
It is still very early in the Q4 reporting cycle, but it is a higher beats percentage for these 26 index members relative to what we saw in the preceding reporting cycle.
The reporting cycle ramps in a major way next week, with mroe than 90 companies on the docket to come out with Q4 results, including 37 S&P 500 members. Finance companies dominate this week's reporting docket, with Netflix (NFLX) and Schlumberger (SLB) as the notable bellwethers from other sectors reporting results.
Today's Featured Analyst Reports
Shares of Apple have outperformed the S&P 500 over the past year (+36.3% vs. +26.1%), with the stock benefiting from robust momentum in the iPhone, iPad, Mac, Wearables as well as an expanding App Store ecosystem.
Apple’s Services and Wearables businesses are expected to drive top-line growth in fiscal 2022 and beyond. Momentum in the Services business, strong adoption of Apple Pay and growing Apple Music subscriber base are other catalysts for growth. Supply chain constraints due to industry-wide silicon shortages, COVID-related manufacturing disruptions as well as supply chain constrains remain as the major headwinds, though.
Johnson & Johnson shares have gained +5.3% over the past three months against the Zacks Large Cap Pharmaceuticals industry’s gain of +9.2%. The Zacks analyst believes that J&J’s Pharma unit has been performing at above-market levels on the back of successful label expansion of blockbuster drugs, Imbruvica, Darzalex and Stelara.
Sales in the pharmaceutical segment rose 11.3% in the first nine months of 2021 on an organic basis despite the coronavirus pandemic. J&J has a positive record of earnings surprises in the recent quarters. It has also been making rapid progress with its pipeline and line extensions with several pivotal data readouts expected this year. Generic competition, pricing pressure continue and several litigations, however, remain as the major concerns.
Shares of McDonald's have gained +11.6% in the last six months against the Zacks Restaurants industry’s loss of -6.1%. The Zacks analyst believes that McDonald's efforts to strengthen its position through various sales initiatives along with increased focus on franchising bode well.
Robust drive-thru presence, as well as investments in delivery and digitization over the past few years have helped it counter the pandemic. By mid-2022, MCD expects to have a loyalty program in the top six markets. It has been making every effort to drive growth in international markets. Pandemic-related woes persist, softening economy and spike in COVID cases, however, have weighed on MCD’s margins lately.
Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Intuit Inc. (INTU), The Boeing Company (BA) and U.S. Bancorp (USB).
Director of Research
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>>>