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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Facebook, Berkshire Hathaway and Chevron

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – January 6, 2021 – 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: Facebook, Inc. (FB - Free Report) , Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK.B - Free Report) and Chevron Corporation (CVX - Free Report) .

Here are highlights from Tuesday’s Analyst Blog:

Q4 Earnings Season Preview and Analyst Reports for Facebook, Chevron & More

The Zacks Research Daily presents the best research output of our analyst team. Today's Research Daily provides a preview of the Q4 earnings season that will take the spotlight with the earnings release from JPMorgan (JPM) and other banks on January 15th. As always, we have also featured new research reports on 16 major stocks, including Facebook, Berkshire Hathaway and Chevron. 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 >>>

2020 Q4 Expectations

The consensus expectation is for Q4 earnings for the S&P 500 index to be down -10.5% from the same period last year on +0.1% higher revenues. This would follow the -7% decline in Q3 and the -32.2% drop in earnings in Q2.

The growth trend is expected to rebound in the current period, with 2021 Q1 earnings for the index currently expected to be up +12.6%. The overall earnings picture started improving in July as the pandemic-driven lockdowns started easing.

As a result, estimates have steadily improved since that time period, a trend that we expect will gain momentum as companies report Q4 results in the coming days and share their outlook for 2021 Q1 and beyond.

The expectation is for full year 2021 earnings to increase by +22.5% after the -16.6% decline in 2020. 

Facebook shares have outperformed the S&P 500 over the past year (+27.4% vs. +16%) on the back of steady user growth across all regions, particularly Asia Pacific. Increased engagement for its products like Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger and Facebook Watch is a major growth driver.

However, Facebook expects user-base growth to be flat or slightly down in the United States and Canada in the fourth quarter of 2020, sequentially. The company expects ad-revenue growth on a year-over-year basis to be better than the third quarter’s growth rate, driven by continued strong advertiser demand during the holiday season.

Strong demand for Oculus 2 is expected to boost other revenues. However, changes made by Apple and Google in their mobile operating systems and browser platforms have limited Facebook’s ability to track user-activity trend, which is a headwind. 

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

Shares of Berkshire Hathaway have gained +25.3% in the last six months against the Zacks Insurance - Property and Casualty industry’s gain of +18.4%. The Zacks analyst believes that continued insurance business growth fuels increase in float, drives earnings and generates maximum return on equity. The non-insurance businesses are delivering improved results with increased revenues over the past few years. A sturdy capital level provides further impetus.

The company is one of the largest property and casualty insurance companies measured by premium volume. Berkshire's inorganic growth story remains impressive with strategic acquisitions. A strong cash position supports earnings-accretive bolt-on buyouts and indicates the company's financial flexibility.

A sturdy capital level provides further impetus. However, exposure to catastrophe loss induces earnings volatility and also affects the property and casualty underwriting results of the company. Huge capital expenditure remains a headwind for the company.

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

Chevron shares have gained +19.7% over the past three months against the Zacks Integrated Oil industry’s rise of +26.2%. The Zacks analyst believes that Chevron is not immune to commodity price crash, forcing it to cut capital spending and suspend buybacks. The company’s high oil price sensitivity is a concern too.

While the company has struggled with depressed demand stemming from the coronavirus pandemic, it has reiterated its commitment to its dividend on a number of occasions. Chevron’s Noble Energy takeover has expanded its footprint in the DJ Basin and the Permian Basin along with the addition of cash-generating offshore assets in Israel.

However, the supermajor’s reserve replacement ratio of 44% is indicative of its inability to add reserves to replace the amount of oil and gas produced.

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

5 Stocks Set to Double

Each was hand-picked by a Zacks expert as the #1 favorite stock to gain +100% or more in 2020. Each comes from a different sector and has unique qualities and catalysts that could fuel exceptional growth.

Most of the stocks in this report are flying under Wall Street radar, which provides a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor.

Today, See These 5 Potential Home Runs >>

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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.

In-Depth Zacks Research for the Tickers Above

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Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK.B) - free report >>

Chevron Corporation (CVX) - free report >>

Facebook, Inc. (FB) - free report >>