Today's Must Read
P&G'S (PG) Productivity & Cost Savings Plan to Aid Margins
Growing Overseas Business, Membership Aid UnitedHealth (UNH)
Monday, November 26, 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 JPMorgan (JPM), Procter & Gamble (PG) and UnitedHealth (UNH). These research reports have been hand-picked from the roughly 70 reports published by our analyst team today.
JPMorgan's shares have outperformed the Zacks Major Regional Banks industry over the past six months (-3.7% vs. -7.7%). Also, the company has an impressive earnings surprise history, having surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in each of the trailing four quarters.
Expansion into new markets, focus on strengthening the card business, rising rate environment and increasing loan demand will benefit the bank’s financials. Lower tax rates, strong balance sheet position and easing of stringent regulations are expected to offer some support.
However, dismal mortgage banking performance (as originations continue to decline) remains a major concern. This is expected to hurt the bank's non-interest income growth to some extent.
Procter & Gamble outperformed the Zacks Soap and Cleaning Materials industry in the past three months, gaining +9.7% vs +2.4%. This can be attributed to the company’s robust earnings history, having outpaced estimates for 14 straight quarters when it reported first-quarter fiscal 2019.
Moreover, earnings grew year over year. Also, sales beat estimates, though it remained flat due to adverse currency fluctuations – which acted as a major deterrent in the first quarter and is likely to remain a concern in the second quarter. Also, the company has been witnessing strained margins for last few quarters due to higher commodity and shipping costs, adverse currency, increased business investments and aggressive pricing from private-label products. Soft baby care business is also a concern.
Nevertheless, the company is focused on improving productivity and cost savings to boost margins. Its focus on product improvement, packaging and marketing initiatives is encouraging.
Shares of Buy-ranked UnitedHealth have outperformed the Zacks Medical Insurance industry's rally in the past year (up +23.1% vs. +22.4%). The company's performance is being backed by higher revenues and strength in both segments — UnitedHealthcare and Optum — plus membership growth.
The company's robust Government is also driving long-term growth. Its international business and strong capital position are the other positives. The company’s raised earnings guidance for 2018 should instill optimism among its investors.
However, the company is seeing membership decline in Commercial segment. Two significant acquisitions would intensify the competition for UnitedHealth Group.
Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include McDonald's (MCD), PepsiCo (PEP) and Philip Morris International (PM).
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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>>>