Today's Must Read
Fund-Raising Ability Aids Blackstone (BX), High Costs Ails
Cigna (CI) Benefits from Strategic Acquisitions, Costs High
Monday, December 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 UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (UNH), Blackstone Inc. (BX) and Cigna Corporation (CI). 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 gained +16.6% over the past year against the Zacks Medical - HMOs industry’s gain of +18.3%. 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, new deals, renewed agreements and expansion of service offerings.
According to the Zacks analyst’s estimate the revenue for 2022 will rise to 12% from the 2021 level. Its solid health services segment provides diversification benefits. UNH's Government business remains well-poised for growth. Adjusted net earnings per share are anticipated in the $21.85-$22.05 band, up from the prior projection of $21.40-$21.90. A sturdy balance sheet enables investments.
However, softness in commercial business due to COVID-induced volatilities persists. Rising operating costs are hurting margins. As such, the stock warrants a cautious stance.
(You can read the full research report on UnitedHealth here >>>)
Shares of Blackstone have underperformed the Zacks Financial - Miscellaneous Services industry over the past year (-36.8% vs. -18.9%). This reflects the company’s exposure to the uncertain macroeconomic environment, particularly the outlook for its substantial commercial real estate holdings.
However, Blackstone remains well-poised to benefit from its strong fund-raising ability, revenue mix and global footprint. Further, continued net inflows are likely to keep supporting Blackstone's AUM growth in the upcoming period. The buyout of DCI further enhanced its digital capabilities.
(You can read the full research report on Blackstone here >>>)
Cigna shares have outperformed the Zacks Insurance - Multi line industry over the past year (+58.4% vs. +5.3%). The company’s revenues have been increasing consistently for the past few years, driven by acquisitions, superior operating performance and a high-quality product portfolio. Business streamlining by divesting its life, accident and supplemental benefits businesses to Chubb helps it to focus on core growth areas.
Increasing medical membership on the back of a diversified product portfolio, wide agent network and superior service are major positives. The company has been resorting to prudent capital deployment moves. For 2022, Cigna expects adjusted income from operations to be at least $22.90 per share.
However, high leverage can affect its financial flexibility. Rising operating costs might dent the company's margins. As such, the stock warrants a cautious stance.
(You can read the full research report on Cigna here >>>)
Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Canadian National Railway Company (CNI), Airbnb, Inc. (ABNB), and PG&E Corporation (PCG).
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>>>