Today's Must Read
QIAGEN Buy, COVID-19 Tests Launch to Aid Thermo Fisher (TMO)
McDonald's (MCD) Banks on Digitalization, Soft Comps a Worry
Wednesday, July 01, 2020
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 Facebook (FB), Thermo Fisher Scientific (TMO) and McDonalds (MCD). These research reports have been hand-picked from the roughly 70 reports published by our analyst team today.
Facebook shares have held their own, despite the ongoing drumbeat of ad boycot announcements, with the stock up +19.1% over the past year vs. the +4.9% gain for the S&P 500 index. The Zacks analyst believes that Facebook is benefiting from growth in Instagram Stories and Feed, and an expanding user base in Asia Pacific. In effect, the company has emerged as a must-have platform for advertizers, along with Alphabet, that is hard to ignore.
The company helped people connect during the coronavirus pandemic. Notably, voice and video calling more than doubled on Messenger and WhatsApp. The launch of Messenger Rooms for video call, which can accommodate 50 people, and WhatsApp video support for up to eight users are noteworthy in this regard.
However, Facebook expects ad-sales to be hurt by weakness in travel and automotive industries. Further, a number of companies have announced plans to freeze ad spending on Facebook due to its failure to eradicate hate speech and misinformation. This is expected to hurt top-line growth, at least in the near term. Higher operating expense is also expected to dent the operating margin in 2020.
Shares of Thermo Fisher have gained +10% over the past six months against the Zacks Medical Instruments industry’s rise of +4.1%. The Zacks analyst is encouraged by the strong year-over-year revenue growth at Life Sciences Solutions and Laboratory Products and Services segments.
The company’s end- market underlying growth performance was strong before the outbreak in China. Meanwhile, the company is optimistic about the progress related to its COVID-19 diagnostic test. In the first quarter, the company reported rapid uptake of these diagnostic kits.
However, the coronavirus outbreak has massively disrupted the global supply chain. Two of the end markets registered loss in the first quarter, largely due to customer shutdowns in China.
McDonalds’ shares have gained +14.4% over the past three months against the Zacks Restaurants industry’s rise of +23.8%. The Zacks analyst believes that the company is benefitting from increase in drive-thru sales.
Also, its increased focus on delivery and accelerated deployment of EOTF restaurants in the United States is commendable. Additionally, the company is making every effort to drive growth in international markets as well. Notably, earning estimates for 2020 have increased over the past 60 days, depicting analyst’s optimism regarding the stock growth potential.
However, coronavirus related woes remain a concern. This along with costs associated with brand positioning in all the key markets and ongoing investments in initiatives might weigh on margins, at least in the near term. Also, decline in comps pose threat for the company.
Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include NIKE (NKE), Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A) and QUALCOMM (QCOM).
Biggest Tech Breakthrough in a Generation
Be among the early investors in the new type of device that experts say could impact society as much as the discovery of electricity. Current technology will soon be outdated and replaced by these new devices. In the process, it’s expected to create 22 million jobs and generate $12.3 trillion in activity.
A select few stocks could skyrocket the most as rollout accelerates for this new tech. Early investors could see gains similar to buying Microsoft in the 1990s. Zacks’ just-released special report reveals 8 stocks to watch. The report is only available for a limited time.
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>>>