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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Toyota, PepsiCo, BlackRock, Amgen and Allstate

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – February 16, 2021 – Zacks.com 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: Toyota Motor Corporation (TM - Free Report) , PepsiCo, Inc. (PEP - Free Report) , BlackRock, Inc. (BLK - Free Report) , Amgen Inc. (AMGN - Free Report)  and The Allstate Corporation (ALL - Free Report) .

Here are highlights from Friday’s Analyst Blog:

Q4 Earnings Season Scorecard and Research Reports

The Zacks Research Daily presents the best research output of our analyst team. Today's Research Daily features an update on the ongoing Q4 earnings season, in addition to featuring new research reports on 16 major stocks, including Toyota, PepsiCo and BlackRock. 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 >>>

Q4 Earnings Season Scorecard (As of Friday, February 12th)

For the 372 S&P 500 members or 74.4% of the index's total membership that have reported Q4 results already, total earnings are up +4.6% from the same period last year on +2.9% higher revenues, with 80.4% beating EPS estimates and 77.7% beating revenue estimates.

This is a notably better performance relative to what we have been seeing from this group of index members in the first three quarters of 2020.

Looking at Q4 as a whole, combining the actual results that have come out with estimates for the still-to-come companies, total earnings are on track to be up +2.9% on +2.6% higher revenues, with the Technology and Finance sectors helping the index growth turn positive after three back-to-back quarters of declines.

Positive guidance and favorable commentary management teams is helping estimates steadily go up. For 2021 Q1, total earnings are now expected to be up +17.7% on +4.7% higher revenues. This is up from +12.6% at the start of January and +11.7% in mid-December 2020.

For full year 2021, S&P 500 earnings are now expected to be up +27.6%, after the -16.6% decline in 2020. In terms of index 'EPS', this works out to $166.88 for 2021, up from $130.74 in 2020 and $156.68 in 2019.

Today's Featured Research Reports

Toyota shares have underperformed the Zacks Foreign Automotive industry over the past year (+12.6% vs. +31.1%). The Zacks analyst believes that Toyota's focus on developing electric and driverless cars are likely to boost revenues, going forward.

Toyota put up a stellar show in fiscal third quarter 2021, with earnings and sales not just beating estimates but also rising year over year. The upward revision of its fiscal 2021 view is encouraging. While most of its peers are slashing production targets, Toyota does not expect the chip shortfall to impact near-term production.

The firm's sharp focus on electric vehicles (EVs) and driverless cars offer ample growth visibility. Partnership with Subaru and Mazda is likely to drive Toyota's electrification plans. Collaboration with Hino, Aurora, Uber and Pony.ai also augur well.

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

Shares of PepsiCo have lost -2.2% in the last six months against the Zacks Soft Drinks Beverages industry's gain of +3.5%. The Zacks analyst believes that PepsiCo's robust fourth quarter results were driven by resilience and strength in the global snacks and foods business and gains in the beverage category.

The snacks/food business benefited from increased at-home consumption trends. The company also gained from its strong portfolio of brands, a responsive supply chain and flexible go-to-market systems, which helped maintain continued supplies.

Moreover, it provided an upbeat view for 2021. However, it witnessed soft margins on incremental COVID-19 related costs. Also, adverse currency rates remain a headwind. 

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

BlackRock shares have gained +7.8% over the past three months against the Zacks Investment Management industry's rise of +16.2%. The Zacks analyst believes that initiatives to restructure the equity business will likely keep supporting top-line growth.

Its fourth-quarter 2020 results were aided by growth in revenues. The company's strategic acquisitions have helped it expand footprint and market share. Further, solid assets under management (AUM) balance are expected to continue to aid revenue growth despite the pandemic-related concerns.

Given a solid liquidity position, BlackRock's capital deployments look sustainable. However, persistently increasing expenses (owing to higher administration costs) are expected to hurt the bottom line. Further, the company's high dependence on overseas revenues makes us apprehensive.

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

Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Amgen and Allstate.

Zacks Top 10 Stocks for 2021

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Last year's 2020Zacks Top 10 Stocks portfolio returned gains as high as +386.8%. Now a brand-new portfolio has been handpicked from over 4,000 companies covered by the Zacks Rank. Don't miss your chance to get in on these long-term buys.

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