Back to top

Research Daily

Wednesday, October 10, 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 Altria (MO), U.S. Bancorp (USB) and Biogen (BIIB). 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 >>>

Altria’s shares have outperformed the Zacks Tobacco industry over the past three months (+7.5% vs. -1.2%). The company has been delivering year-over-year bottom-line growth for quite some time and maintained the upside in second-quarter 2018.

The Zacks analyst thinks performance during the quarter was mainly backed by lower outstanding shares and reduced adjusted tax rate. In fact, solid performance in the first half of 2018 propelled management to raise 2018 view. Additionally, Altria has been progressing well with reduced risk products. Pricing also continues to drive the company’s top line.

On the flip side, stern FDA regulations combined with increased health consciousness has been taking a toll on cigarette sales. Notably, cigarette shipment volumes fell 10.8% year over year during second quarter, wherein total cigarette retail share declined 50.2%. Sadly, volumes in this category are expected to remain soft in the forthcoming periods, owing industry-wide headwinds.

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

Shares of Buy-ranked U.S. Bancorp have outperformed the Zacks Major Banks industry over the past three months, gaining +5.2% vs +2.4%. The company possesses an impressive earnings surprise history, beating expectations in three out of the trailing four quarters.

The Zacks analyst thinks U.S. Bancorp's prospects will likely get support from its solid business model, core franchise, lower tax rate, rising interest rate and diverse revenue streams. Also, its organic growth remains solid and will likely benefit from the improving economic scenario.

However, escalating expenses due to its ongoing investments in technology remains a key concern. Also, involvement in legal hassles is likely to increase legal expenses and provisions in the near term. Nevertheless, U.S. Bancorp remains well poised to grow through acquisitions.

(You can read the full research report on U.S. Bancorp here >>>).

Biogen’s shares have outperformed the Zacks Biomedical and Genetics industry year to date (+8.1% vs. -11.5%). Biogen has a strong position in the MS market with a wide range of products including Avonex, Tysabri, Tecfidera and Plegridy. The Zacks analyst likes its efforts to diversify beyond MS to other areas like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson's and stroke, among others.

Meanwhile, its newest drug Spinraza has multi-billion dollar potential. Biogen’s efforts to regularly in-license assets to build its pipeline are a major positive. It has many assets in its pipeline, which have transformative potential. Multiple data readouts are expected this year.

However, the launch of Ocrevus by Roche is beginning to have a negative impact on MS franchise sales in the United States. Spinraza’s moderating trends in the U.S. is a concern. Meanwhile, estimates have gone down ahead of Q3 earnings results. The company has a mixed record of earnings surprises in recent quarters.

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

Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include General Dynamics (GD), Ecolab (ECL) and HSBC Holdings (HSBC).

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>>>

Featured Reports

New Upgrades

New Downgrades