Back to top

Image: Bigstock

The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: AZN, UNP, MO, SAP and UBER

Read MoreHide Full Article

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – July 30, 2020 – announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include AstraZeneca (AZN - Free Report) , Union Pacific (UNP - Free Report) , Altria Group (MO - Free Report) , SAP SE (SAP - Free Report) and Uber Technologies (UBER - Free Report) .

Here are highlights from Wednesday’s Analyst Blog:

Top Stock Reports for AstraZeneca, Union Pacific and Altria

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, Union Pacific and Altria Group. 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 >>>

AstraZeneca shares have outperformed the Zacks Large Cap Pharmaceuticals industry over the past year (+28.6% vs. +12.7%). The Zacks analyst believes that AstraZeneca’s products like Nexium, Crestor and Seroquel are facing generic competition, which is hurting sales.

The diabetes franchise also faces stiff competition while pricing pressure is hurting sales in the respiratory unit. Also, the coronavirus outbreak may hurt its profits in 2020. Nonetheless, AstraZeneca’s newer drugs, mainly cancer medicines Lynparza, Tagrisso and Imfinzi, should keep driving revenues in 2020.

Its pipeline is strong with an abundance of pipeline catalysts lined up for 2020. Several launches are underway across each of the therapeutic areas. Cost-cutting efforts should drive earnings. The company has a mixed record of earnings surprises in the recent quarters. Estimates have gone up ahead of Q2 earnings release.

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

Shares of Union Pacific have lost -3% over the three six months against the Zacks Rail industry’s fall of -5.4%. The Zacks analyst is pleased by the company's efforts toward promoting safety and enhancing productivity.

Union Pacific is suffering a dismal freight revenue scenario (down 14% in first-half 2020). Freight revenues are being hurt, mainly by coronavirus-induced depressed volumes (down 13% in first-half 2020). Weakness in the Bulk, Premium and Industrial units weighed on the overall volume picture. Overall volumes are likely to decline around 10% in the current year. Deterioration in the debt-to-EBITDA ratio is an added woe.

However, efforts to control costs, courtesy of the precision scheduled railroading model, are a positive, particularly, in the wake of revenue concerns. Mainly owing to cost-cutting efforts, operating ratio is predicted to improve in 2020. The company's ability to generate free cash flow (up 58.9% in first-half 2020) is also a boon. Further, the uptick in e-commerce demand during the pandemic is encouraging.

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

Altria shares have gained +6.2% over the past six months against the Zacks Tobacco industry’s rise of +1.6%. The Zacks analyst believes that the company has been benefiting from its pricing strategy, which boosted adjusted OCI in smokeable and oral tobacco product units in the second quarter of 2020.

This, in turn, aided the bottom line, which beat the consensus mark in the quarter. Also, the quarter depicted strength in the oral tobacco products segment, which is poised to gain on expansions in IQOS and on!

However, Altria’s revenues were hurt by the smokeable product unit’s softness due to low domestic cigarette shipment volumes. Cigarette volumes have long been affected by stern regulations and rising health awareness. Altria still expects domestic cigarette industry volumes to decline in 2020 at a lower rate, thanks to better year-to-date industry trends and anticipations of continued resilience.

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

Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include SAP SE and Uber Technologies.

Today's Best Stocks from Zacks

Would you like to see the updated picks from our best market-beating strategies? From 2017 through 2019, while the S&P 500 gained an impressive +53.6%, five of our strategies returned +65.8%, +97.1%, +118.0%, +175.7% and even +186.7%.

This outperformance has not just been a recent phenomenon. From 2000 – 2019, while the S&P averaged +6.0% per year, our top strategies averaged up to +54.7% per year.

See their latest picks free >>

Join us on Facbook:

Zacks Investment Research is under common control with affiliated entities (including a broker-dealer and an investment adviser), which may engage in transactions involving the foregoing securities for the clients of such affiliates.

Media Contact

Zacks Investment Research

800-767-3771 ext. 9339               

Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss. This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

Published in