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Research Daily

Monday, August 15, 2016

Today's must-read reports are for AstraZeneca (AZN), Caterpillar (CAT) and Exelon (EXC).

AstraZeneca shares have rallied from the mid-June lows, erasing most of the stock's earlier underperformance. The Pound weakness following the Brexit vote has been helpful to this London-based pharma giant. The company has also benefited from the failure of Bristol-Myers' cancer drug, which has put the spotlight on its candidates in that space. These immediate catalysts aside, the analyst likes AstraZeneca’s strong diversified portfolio, expanding presence in emerging markets, ongoing cost-cutting initiatives and robust pipeline. (You can read the full research report on AZN here>>)

Caterpillar shares have been strong performers this year, up more than 22% year-to-date on hopes that the worst was behind this beleagured mining and construction equipment maker. Caterpillar’s earnings picture continues to remain challenged, as the 22% drop in Q2 earnings shows. This tough operating environment has forced management to squeeze more expenses out of the operation. The analyst also points to the improving construction sector as a potential offset to the weak mining sector. (You can read the full research report on CAT here>>)

Exelon shares continue to benefit from the market's hunger for yield (it yields a juicy 3.6%). But a safe dividend isn't Excelon's sole claim to fame - it reported solid results for the June quarter, partly boosted by contributions from the acquired Pepco Holdings assets. The analyst likes the utility's investments, which will strengthen its infrastructure and expand operations. Additionally, its decision to shut down loss making nuclear plants will drive performance. (You can read the full research report on EXC here>>)

You can find all of today's stock research reports here >>>

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Sheraz Mian

Director of Research

Note: Sheraz Mian regularly provides earnings analysis on and appears frequently in the print and electronic media. His weekly earnings related articles include Earnings Trends and Earnings Preview. He also provides weekly commentary to Zacks Premium subscribers and manages the Zacks Focus List and Top 10 portfolios.

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