Today's Must Read
Coca-Cola's (KO) Digital Investments to Aid the Top Line
Linde's (LIN) Contracts With Minimum Volume Requirements Aid
Monday, November 27, 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 Costco Wholesale Corporation (COST), The Coca-Cola Company (KO) and Linde plc (LIN). 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 >>>
Costco shares have outperformed the Zacks Retail - Discount Stores industry over the past year (+12.2% vs. -0.3%). The company being a consumer defensive stock has been surviving the market turmoil pretty well. The discount retailer’s key strengths are strategic investments, a customer-centric approach, merchandise initiatives, and an emphasis on membership growth.
These factors have been helping it register decent sales and earnings numbers. This outlook reflects Costco’s ability to navigate the challenging operating environment, generate solid sales, and register high membership renewal rates.
A favorable product mix, steady store traffic, pricing power and strong liquidity position should help Costco keep outperforming. While trading at a premium to its peers, its long-term growth prospects should help the stock see a solid upside.
(You can read the full research reprt on Costco here >>>)
Shares of Coca-Cola have modestly lagged the shares of rival Pepsico this year (-7.9% vs. -6.4%), but have underperformed the broader market in a big way (-7.9% vs. +19.6% for the S&P 500 index).
The company continues witness inflationary cost pressures, related to higher commodity and material costs, as well as higher marketing investments.
Nevertheless, Coca-Cola continues to witness positive business trends as reflected by its robust surprise history. KO’s sales and earnings beat estimates for the third consecutive quarter in third-quarter 2023. Earnings and sales also improved year over year.
Strong revenue growth across most of its operating segments aided by improved price/mix and increased concentrate sales boosted the results. It is poised to gain from innovations and accelerating digital investments. It provided an upbeat guidance for 2023.
(You can read the full research report on Coca-Cola here >>>)
Linde shares have outperformed the Zacks Chemical - Specialty industry over the past year (+24.4% vs. +11.6%). The company is making the world more productive by the day with its wide range of applications for its industrial gases. Linde’s primary products in industrial gases include oxygen, which is used as life support in hospitals.
The company has long-term contracts with on-site customers backed by minimum purchase requirements, thereby securing stable cashflows. In the profitable industrial gas market, the merger of Praxair and Linde has created an efficient player with considerable size advantages.
However, increasing competition for new projects in emerging markets is concerning. The company faces vulnerability due to economic growth slowdown, potentially impacting industrial gas demand. Linde's history of consistently offering lower dividend yields compared to the composite stocks belonging to the sector concerns income-oriented investors.
(You can read the full research report on Linde here >>>)
Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Comcast Corporation (CMCSA), Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) and Chubb Limited (CB).
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>>>