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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Abbott Laboratories, AstraZeneca, Booking, Vertex Pharmaceuticals and Yum China

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – March 24, 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: Abbott Laboratories (ABT - Free Report) , AstraZeneca PLC (AZN - Free Report) , Booking Holdings Inc. (BKNG - Free Report) , Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (VRTX - Free Report) and Yum China Holdings, Inc. (YUMC - Free Report) .

Here are highlights from Tuesday’s Analyst Blog:

Top Analyst Reports for Abbott, AstraZeneca and Booking Holdings

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 Abbott Laboratories, AstraZeneca, and Booking Holdings. 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 >>>

Abbott shares have outperformed the Zacks Medical Products industry over the past year (+74.5% vs. +47.1%). The Zacks analyst believes that the branded generics and international diabetes businesses should drive growth in the coming quarters. New product launches and acquisitions should boost sales further.

Moreover, its consumer-facing businesses like diabetes care, nutrition and established pharmaceuticals (EPD), are catching up pace. In Adult Nutrition, the company reported strong double-digit growth on robust sales of Ensure and Glucerna in the fourth quarter of 2020. Diabetes Care sales were strong on solid worldwide adoption of FreeStyle Libre.

In 2020, the company received U.S. approval of Freestyle Libre 2 and CE Mark for Libre 3 and Libre Sense Glucose Sport. Yet, the company’s performance was disappointing particularly in Pediatric Nutrition, Cardiovascular and Neuromodulation.

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

AstraZeneca shares have lost -8.1% over the last six months against the Zacks Large Cap Pharmaceuticals industry’s gain of +4.8%. The Zacks analyst believes that products like Nexium and Seroquel have been facing generic competition, which in turn is hurting sales.

The diabetes franchise also faces stiff competition while pricing pressure is hurting sales in the respiratory unit. Nonetheless, AstraZeneca’s newer drugs like Lynparza, Tagrisso and Imfinzi should keep driving revenues.

Its pipeline is strong with several phase III data readouts lined up for 2021. AstraZeneca has also engaged in external acquisitions and strategic collaborations to boost its pipeline while investing in geographic areas of high growth like China.

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

Shares of Booking Holdings have gained +2.5% in the past three months against the Zacks Internet Commerce industry’s gain of +1.9%. The Zacks analyst believes that Booking Holdings has been benefiting from improving bookings. The re-opening of the economy is contributing well to the company's bookings.

Additionally, its expanding payment platform is acting as a tailwind. The company remains optimistic about its highly variable cost structure and strong liquidity position, which are expected to help it in navigating through the current crisis scenario.

Moreover, growing alternative accommodation business and strengthening flight capabilities are other positives. However, disruptions in the travel industry caused by coronavirus remain major headwinds. Furthermore, continued sluggishness in the company's agency business remains an overhang.

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

Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Vertex Pharmaceuticals and Yum China Holdings.

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