Today's Must Read
COVID Vaccine & Pill to Drive Pfizer's (PFE) 2022 Sales
Citigroup's (C) Streamlining Efforts Aids Amid Rising Expenses
Tuesday, January 25, 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 ongoing Q4 earnings season, in addition to new research reports on 12 major stocks, including Mastercard Incorporated (MA), Pfizer Inc. (PFE), and Citigroup Inc. (C). 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 (as of Tuesday, January 25th)
Including all of this morning's earnings releases, we now have Q4 results from 79 S&P 500 members or 15.8% of the index's total membership. Total earnings for these 79 companies are up +21.9% from the same period last year on +11.3% higher revenues, with 84.8% beating EPS estimates and 78.5% beating reveue estimates.
The Q4 EPS and revenue beats percentages are within historical ranges, though below what we had seen from the same group of companies in the first three quarters of the year.
The revisions trend for current (2022 Q1) and coming quarters appears to have turned positive after modestly turning negative in the comparable period to the preceding earnings season.
It will be a notable positive for the market if this favorable turn on the revisions front continues through the rest of this earnings season.
Today's Featured Research Reports
Shares of Mastercard have outperformed the Zacks Financial Transaction Services industry over the past year (+6.6% vs. -24.4%). The Zacks analyst believes that Mastercard's profit levels are rising thanks to higher consumer spending. It executed several acquisitions, which helped to grow its addressable markets and drive new revenue streams.
Deal wins, renewed agreements and an expanded service suite are expected to aid long-term growth. The COVID-19 crisis accelerated the use of electronic payments with much greater adoption of digital and contactless solutions. This provides an opportunity for Mastercard's business to expedite its shift to the digital mode.
However, steep costs might stress margins. High rebates and incentives may weigh on revenues. As such, the stock warrants a cautious stance.
Shares of Pfizer have outperformed the Zacks Large Cap Pharmaceuticals industry over the past year (+38.2% vs. +8.1%). The Consumer Healthcare joint venture with Glaxo and the merger of the Upjohn unit with Mylan has made Pfizer a smaller company with a diversified portfolio of innovative drugs and vaccines.
The Zacks analyst, however, believes that the smaller Pfizer should see better revenue growth. Pfizer expects strong growth of key brands like Ibrance, Inlyta and Eliquis to drive sales. Its COVID-19 vaccine has become a key contributor to the top line. The approval of Paxlovid, its oral antiviral pill for COVID, can bring in additional revenues in 2022.
However, currency headwinds and pricing pressure are key top-line headwinds. Concerns remain about its long-term growth prospects due to competitive pressure.
Shares of Citigroup have underperformed the Zacks Banks - Major Regional industry over the past year (+2.9% vs. +29.3%). However, Citigroup’s fourth-quarter 2021 results were driven by revenue and loan growth, while escalating expenses were concerning. Nonetheless, the company has an impressive earnings surprise history, having beaten the Zacks Consensus Estimate in the trailing four quarters.
The Zacks analyst believes that exiting the consumer banking business in announced markets will simplify operations and release $12 billion of allocated tangible common equity that can be deployed to expand institutional franchises in targeted regions. Recently, the bank revealed plans to exit the consumer, small business and middle-market banking operations in Mexico.
Meanwhile, high expenses on transformation investments and regulatory costs might limit bottom-line growth. The subdued consumer banking business might dent fee income.
Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Exelon Corporation (EXC), Kinder Morgan, Inc. (KMI) and CSX Corporation (CSX).
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>>>