Today's Must Read
Marathon (MPC) to Gain from Sale of Speedway Retail Unit
Moderna's (MRNA) Overdependence on COVID Jab Revenues A Woe
Thursday, March 30, 2023
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 The Walt Disney Co. (DIS), Marathon Petroleum Corp. (MPC), and Moderna, Inc. (MRNA). These research reports have been hand-picked from the roughly 70 reports published by our analyst team today.
Shares of Walt Disney have gained +11.5% over the year-to-date period against the Zacks Media Conglomerates industry’s gain of +13.5%. The Zacks analyst believes that Disney is benefiting from the growing popularity of Disney+, owing to a strong content portfolio and a cheaper bundle offering. The strong line-up of movies that includes The Little Mermaid; Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 3; Elemental; Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny and Haunted Mansion bodes well for the Media and Entertainment Distribution segment.
Revival in Parks, Experiences and Products businesses is encouraging. Theme Park business is likely to gain from strong demand across both domestic and international parks. However, Disney+’s profitability continues to be negatively impacted by higher programming and production costs across Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu.
Marathon Petroleum shares have outperformed the Zacks Oil and Gas - Refining and Marketing industry over the past year (+56.8% vs. +8.3%). The Zacks analyst believes that Marathon Petroleum’s sale of its Speedway retail business for $21 billion provided the downstream operator with a much-needed cash infusion. The deal also comes with a 15-year fuel supply agreement per which Marathon Petroleum will supply 7.7 billion gallons of gasoline per year to 7-Eleven, thus ensuring a steady revenue stream.
But while refining fundamentals have certainly brightened from the covid lows, the sector is not out of the woods yet in terms of cash flows that remain anemic and well below the pre-crisis levels. In particular, the weakness in business travel demand remains a complicating factor.
Shares of Moderna have declined -17.2% over the year-to-date period against the Zacks Medical - Biomedical and Genetics industry’s decline of -4.8%. The Zacks analyst believes that lower cases of COVID-19 infections are fueling uncertainty regarding demand for vaccinations, resulting in declining product sales. The launch of COVID vaccines by competitors like Sanofi and Novavax will also likely lead to a loss of product sales.
Currently, Moderna is conducting three ongoing late-stage studies evaluating RSV, CMV, and influenza vaccines. However, these candidates are still years away from commercialization. Nonetheless, Moderna expects to record a minimum of around $5.0 billion from COVID vaccine sales in 2023.
Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (ICE), Nucor Corp. (NUE), and CenterPoint Energy, Inc. (CNP).
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>>>