Today's Must Read
Decent Comparable Sales Run to Fuel Costco's (COST) Top Line
Applied Materials (AMAT) Rides on Foundry & Logic Spending
Thursday, February 10, 2022
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 UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (UNH), Costco Wholesale Corporation (COST), and Applied Materials, Inc. (AMAT). 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 >>>
Shares of UnitedHealth have outperformed the Zacks Medical Insurance industry over the past year (+51.7% vs. +47.4%) on the back of continued strong growth at Optum and UnitedHealthcare segments.
UNH’s has also been benefiting from a strong market position as well as new deals, renewed agreements and expansion of service offerings. Its solid health services segment provides diversification benefits. A sturdy balance sheet and solid cash generation abilities enable investments as well as prudent capital deployment. Softness in commercial business due to the pandemic-related volatilities have been weighing on the margins, though.
Costco shares have gained +19.4% in the past six months against the Zacks Discount Retail industry’s rise of +0.1%. The Zacks analyst believes that Costco’s strategy to sell products at heavily discounted prices has helped it remain on a growth track as cash-strapped customers continue to reckon it as a viable option for low-cost necessities.
Costco’s growth strategies, better price management, decent membership trend and increasing penetration of e-commerce business are other catalysts for growth. COST put up a decent performance in first-quarter fiscal 2022, wherein both the top and the bottom lines surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Supply chain bottlenecks and higher labor and freight costs remain as major concerns, though.
Shares of Applied Materials have lost -6.2% in the last three months against the Zacks Semiconductor Equipment - Wafer Fabrication industry’s loss of –12.2%. Market uncertainties, mounting expenses as well as rising competition pose risk to the company’s market position.
The Zacks analyst, however, believes that Applied Materials has been benefiting from strong momentum across Semiconductor Systems and Applied Global Services. Increased customer spending in foundry and logic on the back of rising need for specialty nodes in automotive, power, 5G rollout, IoT, communications and image sensor markets, is a major positive.
Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Intuit Inc. (INTU), S&P Global Inc. (SPGI) and Cadence Design Systems, Inc. (CDNS).
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>>>