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Research Daily

Sheraz Mian

Top Analyst Reports for AstraZeneca, QUALCOMM & FedEx


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Thursday, May 3, 2024

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 AstraZeneca PLC (AZN), QUALCOMM Incorporated (QCOM) and FedEx Corporation (FDX). 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 >>>

Shares of AstraZeneca have gained +4.1% over the past year against the Zacks Large Cap Pharmaceuticals industry’s gain of +20.4%. The company’s key drugs like Lynparza, Tagrisso, Imfinzi, Fasenra, Ultomiris and Farxiga should keep driving revenues. AstraZeneca’s pipeline is strong.

AstraZeneca has also been engaged in external acquisitions and strategic collaborations to boost its pipeline while investing in geographic areas of high growth like emerging markets. Backed by its new products and pipeline drugs, AstraZeneca believes it can post industry-leading top-line growth in the 2025-2030 period.

However, AstraZeneca’s diabetes franchise faces stiff competition while pricing pressure hurts sales in the respiratory unit. Estimates are stable ahead of the Q1 earnings release. The company has a mixed record of earnings surprises in the recent quarters.

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

QUALCOMM shares have outperformed the Zacks Wireless Equipment industry over the past year (+73.3% vs. +35.2%). The company reported relatively healthy second-quarter fiscal 2024 results, with the bottom and top lines beating the respective Zacks Consensus Estimate, driven by healthy demand trends in Android handsets and automotive businesses.

QUALCOMM is likely to benefit from the launch of Snapdragon 7 Gen 3 chipsets with advanced AI features for mid-range smartphones and Snapdragon 8s Gen 3 mobile platform for Android flagship smartphones. Healthy 5G traction and Snapdragon Digital Chassis platform are tailwinds. It is focusing on the seamless transition from a wireless communications firm for the mobile industry to a connected processor firm for the intelligent edge.

However, soft demand trends and elevated inventory levels are concerns. Rising geopolitical conflicts and high debt burden are other headwinds. Softness in IoT business is another challenge.

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

Shares of FedEx have outperformed the Zacks Transportation - Air Freight and Cargo industry over the past year (+18.1% vs. -3.3%). The company’s efforts to reward shareholders through dividends and buybacks are encouraging. FDX looks to repurchase $2.5 billion of common stock and pay $1.3 billion in dividends during fiscal 2024. FDX's liquidity position is also impressive.

However, it continues to struggle due to the normalization of volume and pricing trends in the post-COVID era. To navigate the weak business environment, FDX is cutting costs. Driven by its cost-saving plan, which is expected to accelerate going forward, operating expenses are declining.

DRIVE initiatives are likely to result in $4 billion cost savings by 2025. For fiscal 2024, FedEx expects revenues to decline in the low single digits from fiscal 2023 actuals due to weakness pertaining to package volumes.

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

Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include American International Group, Inc. (AIG), Halliburton Company (HAL) and Baker Hughes Company (BKR).

Director of Research

Sheraz Mian

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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