Today's Must Read
Accenture (ACN) Rides on Acquisitions Amid Pricing Pressure
UPS' Dividends & Buybacks a Boon, Operating Expenses a Bane
Friday, April 1, 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 Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ), Accenture plc (ACN), and United Parcel Service, Inc. (UPS). 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 >>>
Verizon shares have performed roughly in-line with the Zacks Wireless National industry’s decline of -9% over the past year, as the company struggles to maintain its profitability in the face of an intensely competitive market that forces it to incur hefty expenses on promotions and discounts to attract customers. High auctioning expenses for the mid-band spectrum are expected to further weigh on margins.
However, Verizon plans to accelerate the availability of its 5G Ultra Wideband network, covering 175 million people by the end of 2022. The telecom giant’s growth strategy includes 5G mobility, nationwide broadband and mobile edge compute and business solutions. The company has inked deals with satellite providers for early clearance of the additional C-band spectrum it acquired in 2021. It is building the entire network infrastructure to provide the most amazing 5G experience to customers.
Shares of Accenture have modestly underperformed the Zacks Consulting Services industry over the past year period (+22.5% vs. +24.4%). The Zacks analyst believes that the company has been steadily gaining traction in its outsourcing and consulting businesses. The company has been strategically enhancing its cloud and digital marketing suite through buyouts and partnerships. The company’s strong operating cash flow has helped it reward its shareholders in the form of dividend payments and share repurchases, and pursue opportunities in areas that show true potential.
However, pricing pressure due to significant competition from strong companies like Genpact, Cognizant and Infosys, remains a concern. Global presence exposes it to foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations. Buyout-related integration risks continues to remain a concern.
Shares of United Parcel have outperformed the Zacks Transportation - Air Freight and Cargo industry over the past year (+28% vs. +5.6%). The Zacks analyst believes that demand for e-commerce-related package deliveries is likely to have remained strong and aided performance in first-quarter 2022. The agreement inked with ESW is an added positive. The deal aims to capitalize on the growing popularity of cross-border e-commerce.
We are also appreciative of UPS' efforts to reward its shareholders. In the latest shareholder-friendly move, UPS' board approved a 49% quarterly dividend increase to $1.52 per share in February. However, high operating costs are hurting the bottom line. With oil price moving north, fuel costs are escalating and flaring up total expenses. Due to steep fuel costs, operating expenses are likely to have soared.
Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include AT&T Inc. (T), HSBC Holdings plc (HSBC) and Booking Holdings Inc. (BKNG).
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>>>