Today's Must Read
Loan Growth Supports Wells Fargo (WFC), Legal Issues Linger
Upstream Unit Buoys PetroChina (PTR) Amid Gas Import Losses
Friday, March 22, 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 Alphabet (GOOGL), Wells Fargo (WFC), and PetroChina (PTR). 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 >>>
Alphabet's shares have outperformed the Zacks Internet Services industry in the past year (+20.4% vs. -4.6%).The Zacks analyst thinks Alphabet is riding on its growing search initiatives. Its strong initiatives toward elimination of bad ads and introducing useful major search updates are acting as tailwinds. These are enhancing its search results.
Further, Google’s robust mobile search is also a major positive. Additionally, its strong focus toward bolstering presence in the cloud market on the back of expanding data centers and robust cloud offerings continues to aid top-line growth.
The company’s strong focus on innovation related to its AI techniques and Android OS along with growing presence in the home automation space are aiding business growth further. However, the company’s growing litigation issues might hurt its profitability. Also, it's increased spending on consumer gadgets, YouTube video app and cloud computing services remains a concern.
Shares of Wells Fargo have underperformed the Zacks Major Regional Banks industry over the past three months (up +14.4% vs. +17.4%).Its earnings surprise history is decent, having beaten expectations in two of the trailing four quarters. The Zacks analyst likes the ongoing investments in the businesses to enhance compliance and risk management capability, build a better bank and strengthen core infrastructure.
The bank settled fake account scandal-related lawsuit filed by shareholders and ended investigations by about 50 states, which will enable it to focus on operations. However, Wells Fargo was slapped with several sanctions, including a cap on its assets by the Federal Reserve, following its involvement in several legal issues. Its reputation was harmed by such involvement and might take some time to recover. Falling mortgage banking income is another concern.
PetroChina’s shares have gained +11.2% year to date, underperforming the Zacks International Integrated Oil industry, which has increased +13.6% over the same period. The Zacks analyst thinks that since higher oil prices will likely support the state-run giant's upstream unit in the near-to-medium term, the stock might regain favor.
The company's exploration & production segment has been benefiting from steady commodity price recovery and stricter cost control. Meanwhile, the downstream business -- consisting of the refining and chemicals’ activities – should be able to take advantage of optimized resource allocation, strict cost control and increased production of high-value products.
However, the company's weak oil production growth prospects are a major concern. Limited international operations and losses on gas imports give investors more reason to be cautious about the stock.
Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Micron (MU), Tesla (TSLA) and Allstate (ALL).
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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>>>