Today's Must Read
Aerospace Segment Drives Honeywell (HON), High Costs Hurt
Biogen (BIIB) Rides on Spinraza and In-Licensing Agreements
Tuesday, March 12, 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 Visa (V), Honeywell (HON) and Biogen (BIIB). These research reports have been hand-picked from the roughly 70 reports published by our analyst team today.
Visa’s shares have outperformed the Zacks Financial Transaction Services industry over the past year (+22.3% vs. +14.3%). Visa’s results were driven by growth in payments volume, cross-border volume and processed transactions, and a lower tax rate. The Zacks analyst thinks numerous strategic acquisitions and alliances, technology upgrades and effective marketing have paved the way for long-term growth and consistent increase in revenues.
Visa is well poised to gain from growing electronic payment processing and a solid brand name. Its strong capital position enables investments in business. Nevertheless, high client incentives and operating expenses, and foreign exchange volatility might put pressure on margins. Softness in cross border volumes is another concern.
Shares of Honeywell have underperformed the Zacks Diversified Operations industry in the past three months, gaining +10.3% vs. a +12.8% increase. Honeywell believes that strength in its commercial aftermarket and sensing businesses as well as solid demand for its productivity and commercial fire products will boost its revenues in the quarters ahead.
The Zacks analyst thinks stronger sales volumes, increased productivity and ongoing commercial effectiveness actions will likely boost near-term profitability. Notably, the company anticipates generating organic sales growth in the range of 2-5% in 2019. Rising costs of revenues are a worry for the company's gross margin.
Also, analysts have become increasingly bearish on the company over the past couple of months. Increases in debt levels can increase its financial obligations.
Biogen’s shares have underperformed the Zacks Biomedical and Genetics industry year to date (+3.5% vs. +11.9%). Biogen has a strong position in the MS market with a wide range of products. The Zacks analyst likes its efforts to diversify beyond MS to other areas like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson's and stroke, among others. Meanwhile, its newest drug Spinraza is performing well and has multi-billion dollar potential.
Biogen’s efforts to regularly in-license assets to build its pipeline are encouraging with several having transformative potential. Multiple data readouts are expected in 2019 with multiple potential launches in the early 2020s. However, its core MS business, excluding Ocrevus royalties, has been largely flat.
Also, potential competition to Spinraza from competitors’ gene therapy programs for SMA is a concern. Though Biogen’s CNS pipeline is attractive, it is a high-risk area.
Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Intuitive Surgical (ISRG), Humana (HUM) and EOG Resources (EOG).
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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>>>