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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Apple, Mastercard, Sanofi, Comcast and Altria Group

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – January 18, 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: Apple Inc. (AAPL - Free Report) , Mastercard Incorporated (MA - Free Report) , Sanofi (SNY - Free Report) , Comcast Corporation (CMCSA - Free Report)  and Altria Group, Inc. (MO - Free Report) .

Here are highlights from Friday’s Analyst Blog:

Top Stock Reports for Apple, Mastercard and Sanofi

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 Apple, Mastercard and Sanofi. 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 >>>

Apple shares have outperformed the S&P 500 over the past year (+63.5% vs. +16.2%). The Zacks analyst believes that the company is benefiting from continued momentum in the Services segment, driven by a robust performance of App Store, Apple Music, video and cloud services.

Moreover, demand remains healthy for other Apple devices including iPad, Mac and Wearables. Although Apple didn't provide any guidance due to uncertainties triggered by the coronavirus pandemic, it expects iPhone sales to grow in the first quarter of fiscal 2021.

Apple's near-term prospects are bright, driven by new iPhones that support 5G, revamped iPad and Mac line-up of devices, health-focused Apple Watch 6 and robust growth in the Services business. Moreover, a solid balance sheet and strong cash flow generating ability are key catalysts. However, increasing scrutiny and legal woes over App Store are headwinds. 

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

Shares of Mastercard have gained +9.2% in the last six months against the Zacks Financial Transaction Services industry's gain of +5.1%. The Zacks analyst believes that the company is gaining from solid demand for digital and contactless solutions amid the COVID crisis.

Investment in technology keeps it at the forefront of the rapidly-evolving payments industry. It is well poised to gain from consistent cash generating abilities from operations backed by its growing business volumes. The company's strong capital position drives investment in business and shareholder value addition.

However, steep costs might stress margins. Its cross-border volumes will remain suppressed due to COVID-19 restriction on travel and entertainment. Its third-quarter earnings missed estimates.

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

Sanofi shares have lost -2.5% over the past three months against the Zacks Large Cap Pharmaceuticals industry's rise of +7.2%. The Zacks analyst believes that Sanofi's Specialty Care unit is on a strong footing, particularly with regular label expansion of Dupixent.

The drug has, in a very short time, become the key top-line driver for Sanofi. Sanofi possesses a leading vaccine operation. Its R&D pipeline is strong and several data read-outs are expected in 2021. However, headwinds include weak performance of the Diabetes unit, generic competition for many drugs and slower-than-expected uptake of core products like Praluent.

Meanwhile, COVID-19 has resulted in slowdown of new patient starts, deferral of some vaccinations, and lower in-pharmacy traffic. Shares have underperformed the industry in the past one year. Estimate movement has been mixed ahead of Q4 earnings. Sanofi has a mixed record of earnings surprise in the recent quarters.

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

Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Comcast and Altria Group.

Zacks Names "Single Best Pick to Double"

From thousands of stocks, 5 Zacks experts each have chosen their favorite to skyrocket +100% or more in months to come. From those 5, Director of Research Sheraz Mian hand-picks one to have the most explosive upside of all.

You know this company from its past glory days, but few would expect that it's poised for a monster turnaround. Fresh from a successful repositioning and flush with A-list celeb endorsements, it could rival or surpass other recent Zacks' Stocks Set to Double like Boston Beer Company which shot up +143.0% in a little more than 9 months and Nvidia which boomed +175.9% in one year.

Free: See Our Top Stock and 4 Runners Up >>

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