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Research Daily

Friday, August 5, 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 Pfizer Inc. (PFE), The Progressive Corporation (PGR), and The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (PNC). 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 >>>

Pfizer shares have outperformed the Zacks Large Cap Pharmaceuticals industry over the past year (+13.3% vs. +9.4%), reflecting the company's diversified portfolio of innovative drugs and vaccines, including Ibrance and Prevnar.

The Zacks analyst believes that no company is as strongly placed in the COVID vaccines/treatment market as Pfizer right now. Its COVID-19 vaccine has become a key contributor to the top line. The vaccine together with Pfizer’s promising oral antiviral pill for COVID-19, Paxlovid is expected to generate a combined $54 billion in sales in 2022.

Pfizer boasts a sustainable pipeline with multiple late-stage programs that can drive growth. However, currency headwinds and pricing pressure are key top-line headwinds. Concerns remain about its long-term growth drivers beyond its COVID-related products due to competitive pressure.

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

The Progressive shares have outperformed the Zacks Insurance - Property and Casualty industry over the past year (+23.9% vs. -5.2%) on the back of a favorable outlook for premiums, a compelling product portfolio, leadership position and strength in both Vehicle and Property businesses.

Its focus on becoming a one-stop insurance destination, catering to customers opting for a combination of home and auto insurance, augurs well for the company's growth. Policies in force and retention ratio should remain healthy. Competitive pricing to retain current customers and address customer needs with new offerings should continue to drive policy life expectancy.

However, exposure to catastrophe losses induces underwriting volatility. Escalating expenses due to higher losses and settlement expenses remain an overhang on the company's margin. High debt level along with low times earned interest pose financial risk.

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

PNC shares have declined -9.0% over the past year against the Zacks Banks - Major Regional industry’s decline of -16.7%, reflecting improving outlook as a result of higher interest rates, partly offset by recessionary risks. 

Higher net interest income (NII) and loan growth support PNC Financial's second-quarter results against headwinds like higher expenses and a declining deposit. Economic growth and decent pipelines are expected to support balance-sheet strength.  With the gradual rising rates, the company’s NII and margins are positioned to increase.

Planned investments in inorganic expansion strategies have strengthened its banking franchise and diversified business mix. Sound capital deployment activities are other positives.

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

Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include MercadoLibre, Inc. (MELI), Arista Networks, Inc. (ANET), and Hess Corporation (HES).

Sheraz Mian
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>>>

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