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Research Daily

Friday, March 1, 2019

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 Facebook (FB), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and JPMorgan (JPM). 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 >>>

Buy-ranked Facebook’s shares have gained +23.2% year to date, outperforming the S&P 500’s increase of +11.1% during the same period. The Zacks analyst thinks Facebook will benefit from solid mobile ad revenues driven by robust performance of Instagram Stories and an expanding user base in 2019.

Further, the company’s plan to introduce commerce in Instagram is expected to be a major growth driver. The growing appeal of the company’s Workplace platform, which now has two million paid users, is another key catalyst. Additionally, the company’s plan to integrate messaging apps — WhatsApp, Instagram, and Messenger – will boost user experience by making the services more secure through end-to-end encryption.

However, continued mix shift toward Stories is expected to hurt ARPU. Further, increasing regulatory headwinds is a concern. Facebook is also likely to face record fines from Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over security failures including the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

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

Shares of Johnson & Johnson have gained +7.4% in the past year, outperforming the S&P 500’s increase of +4% over the same period. J&J’s sales growth accelerated in 2018 backed by above-market sales growth in the Pharmaceutical segment and improving performance in Medical Devices unit.

J&J’s guidance for 2019 sales growth was below expectations due to Pharma generic/biosimilar headwinds, which will hurt sales by $3 billion. The Zacks analyst thinks J&J sales and earnings growth will accelerate in 2020 supported by drug launches, successful label expansion of cancer drugs like Imbruvica and Darzalex and immunology drug, Stelara. J&J is also making rapid progress with its pipeline and line extensions. Meanwhile, share buybacks and restructuring initiatives should provide bottom-line support.

Headwinds like biosimilar/generic competition and pricing pressure remain. Allegations that its talc products contain asbestos, which causes users to develop ovarian cancer, have been an overhang on the stock price.

(You can read the full research report on Johnson & Johnson here >>>).

JPMorgan’s shares have underperformed the S&P 500 over the past six months (-9.4% vs. -3.9%). However, JPMorgan has an impressive earnings surprise history, having surpassed expectations in three of the trailing four quarters.

The Zacks analyst thinks expansion into new markets by opening branches, focus on strengthening credit card business, higher rates and improving loan balance will continue supporting its profitability. Management targets to achieve return on tangible equity of 17% over the medium term. Further, the company's enhanced capital deployment actions reflect strong liquidity position.

However, dismal mortgage banking performance (owing to lower origination volume and refinancing activities) remains a major concern. The company's significant dependence on capital markets revenues is another cause for worry. These are expected to hurt the bank's fee income growth to an extent.

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

Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Sun Life Financial (SLF), Cerner (CERN) and Evergy Inc. (EVRG).

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Senior Editor

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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