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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Procter & Gamble, Verizon, Morgan Stanley, Philip Morris International and Deere & Co

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – April 28, 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: The Procter & Gamble Company (PG - Free Report) , Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ - Free Report) , Morgan Stanley (MS - Free Report) , Philip Morris International Inc. (PM - Free Report) and Deere & Company (DE - Free Report) .

Here are highlights from Tuesday’s Analyst Blog:

Earnings on Track to Reach New Quarterly Record

The Zacks Research Daily presents the best research output of our analyst team. Today's Research Daily features a real-time update on the ongoing Q1 earnings season and new research reports on 16 major stocks, including The Procter & Gamble, Verizon Communications, and Morgan Stanley. 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 >>>

Q1 Earnings Season Scorecard

Including all of this morning's results, we now have Q1 results from 153 S&P 500 members or 30.6% of the index's total membership. Total earnings for these 153 companies are up +46% on +5.9% higher revenues, with 84.3% beating EPS estimates and 75.2% beating revenue estimates.

Excluding the Finance sector, whose Q1 results have been boosted by reserve releases and easy comparisons at the banks, earnings for the remainder of the index members that have reported would be up +10.3% from the same period last year.

This is a notably better performance relative to what we have been seeing from this group of companies in other recent periods. 

Looking at Q1 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 increase +31% on +6.8% higher revenues. Ex-Finance, Q1 earnings growth would be +17.7% on +7.1% higher revenues.

Total Q1 earnings are on track to reach a new quarterly record at $381.6 billion, surpassing the previous quarterly record set in the preceding period (2020 Q4) at $373.7 billion. This is very impressive since large parts of the Transportation and Consumer Discretionary sectors are still operating under debilitating Covid-related issues. 

Today's Featured Research Reports

Shares of Procter & Gamble have outperformed the Zacks Soap and Cleaning Materials in the last one-year period (+12.2% vs. +0.3%). The Zacks analyst believes that Procter & Gamble stock has been benefiting from its robust earnings and sales surprise trend.

While it has reported earnings surprise for the past several quarters, revenues topped estimates for the fourth straight time in the fiscal third-quarter. Productivity savings as well as higher pricing boosted margins.

The company raised its free cash flow productivity target to more than 100% for fiscal 2021. However, currency headwinds and pandemic-related disruptions are likely to affect fiscal 2021 results to some extent.

(You can read the full research report on The Procter & Gamble here >>>)

Verizon shares have gained +1.6% over the last three months against the Zacks Wireless National industry's gain of +5%. The Zacks analyst believes that Verizon is likely to benefit from a disciplined network strategy, including accelerated 5G deployment despite economic uncertainties stemming from the COVID-19 crisis.

The company expects to witness solid 5G momentum backed by a customer-centric business model and diligent execution of operational plans. It has augmented mid-band spectrum capacity with the C-Band airwaves buyout.

However, Verizon operates in an intensely competitive U.S. wireless market that strains margins. Also, hefty expenses on promotion and lucrative discounts to attract customers further hamper its profitability.

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

Shares of Morgan Stanley have gained +71.7% in the past six months against the Zacks Investment Banking industry's gain of +73%. The Zacks analyst believes that the company's robust capital deployments will continue enhancing the shareholder value.

Meanwhile, the buyouts of Eaton Vance and E*Trade Financial are in sync with the company's efforts to focus less on capital markets driven revenue sources. These initiatives, along with increasing focus on corporate lending, are likely to continue supporting financials.

Although steadily increasing expenses, low rates and its significant dependence on capital-markets driven revenues make us apprehensive, a strong balance sheet is likely to continue supporting growth.

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

Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Philip Morris International and Deere & Co.

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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.