Today's Must Read
Chevron (CVX) to Gain from Massive Permian Acreage
Cancer Drugs Aid AstraZeneca (AZN) Sales Amid China Impact
Friday, June 24, 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 Inc. (UNH), Chevron Corp. (CVX), and AstraZeneca PLC (AZN). 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 >>>
UnitedHealth shares have outperformed the Zacks Medical - HMOs industry over the past year (+24.3% vs. +20.3%). The company’s top line has been growing and the momentum should continue in the years ahead on the back of a strong market position and an attractive core business that continues to be driven by new deals, renewed agreements and expansion of service offerings.
Its solid health services segment provides diversification benefits. The firm's government business remains well-poised for growth. A sturdy balance sheet enables investments and prudent capital deployment through share buybacks and dividends.
However, softness in commercial business due to COVID-induced volatilities persists. Also, the rising operating costs are hurting UnitedHealth’s bottom line. As such, the stock warrants a cautious stance.
(You can read the full research report on UnitedHealth here >>>)
Chevron shares have outperformed the Zacks Oil and Gas - Integrated - International industry over the past year (+39.8% vs. +25.2%). The company is considered one of the best-placed global integrated oil firms to achieve sustainable production ramp-up. America’s No. 2 energy company’s existing project pipeline is among the best in the industry, thanks to its premier position in the lucrative Permian Basin.
However, Chevron was not immune to the commodity price crash of 2020, forcing it to cut spending substantially. The company’s high oil price sensitivity is a concern too. Moreover, the supermajor’s 10-year reserve replacement ratio of 100% is indicative of its inability to replace the amount of oil and gas produced. Finally, Chevron has been a laggard to jump into the net-zero bandwagon.
AstraZeneca shares have outperformed the Zacks Large Cap Pharmaceuticals industry over the year-to-date basis (+14.9% vs. +4.6%). The company’s new drugs, mainly cancer medicines, Lynparza, Tagrisso and Imfinzi should keep driving revenues.
Its pipeline is strong with several phase III data readouts lined up. AstraZeneca has also engaged in external acquisitions and strategic collaborations to boost its pipeline while investing in geographic areas of high growth like emerging markets. Cost-cutting efforts should drive earnings.
The Alexion buyout strengthens its immunology franchise, adding several drugs that can boost its top line. However, AstraZeneca’s diabetes franchise faces stiff competition while pricing pressure is hurting sales in the respiratory unit. Sales of some cancer medicines are being hurt due to COVID-19. Sales are slowing down in key market, China, due to pricing pressure.
Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include SAP SE (SAP), BP p.l.c. (BP), and Bayer Aktiengesellschaft (BAYRY).
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>>>