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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Lowe's Companies, Inc., The Southern Company and Freeport-McMoRan Inc

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – January 14, 2022 – 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: Lowe's Companies, Inc (LOW - Free Report) , The Southern Company (SO - Free Report) and Freeport-McMoRan Inc. (FCX - Free Report) .

Here are highlights from Thursday’s Analyst Blog:

Top Analyst Report for Lowe's, Southern Co. and Freeport McMoRan

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 Lowe's Companies, Inc., The Southern Company and Freeport-McMoRan Inc. 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 >>>

Lowe'sshares have gained +15.8% over the past three months, roughly in-line with the Zacks Building Products - Retail industry’s gain of +15.3%. The Zacks analyst believes that the company remains well positioned to capitalize on demand for the home improvement market backed by investments in technology, merchandise category and strength in Pro business.

Lowe’s has posted sturdy third-quarter fiscal 2021 results wherein the top and the bottom line beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate and grew year over year. Results benefited from the strong execution of strategies including the Total Home strategy. The Total Home strategy has been resonating well with Pro and DIY customers. Focus on driving productivity helped the company boost margins.

Also, sales at Lowes.com increased 25% in the fiscal third quarter. Management is committed toward enhancing the Pro offerings, expanding the company’s market share and boosting the operating margin.

(You can read the full research report on Lowe’s here >>>)

Shares of Southern Company have outperformed the Zacks Utility - Electric Power industry over the past year (+14.8% vs. +6.7%). The Zacks analyst believes that by leveraging the demographics of its operating territories, as in healthy population and job growth, Southern Company has gradually increased its customer base. With good rate base growth and constructive regulation, the power supplier is expected to generate steady earnings and dividend growth in the coming years.

However, its elevated leverage, along with continued timing and cost overrun issues over its Vogtle project, are major overhangs. While the electric utility holding company’s debt-to-capitalization of 60.9% restricts financial flexibility, its $25-billion Vogtle nuclear plant has already exceeded budget and is years behind schedule. Therefore, Southern Company warrants a cautious stance from the investors.

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

Freeport-McMoRan shares have gained +21.6% over the past three months against the Zacks Mining - Non Ferrous industry’s decline of -1.4%. The company is conducting exploration activities near existing mines to expand reserves. The Zacks analyst believes that the company is expected to gain from progress in exploration activities that will boost production capacity.

Freeport’s Lone Star project provides additional upside. The company is also well-positioned to benefit from automotive electrification, which is positive for copper as electrical vehicles are copper intensive. Higher copper prices are also expected to support its margins. The company's efforts to reduce debt is also encouraging.

However, the company faces headwinds from higher energy and freight costs. Higher costs may hurt its margins. The recent weakness in copper demand in China amid slowing economic growth is another concern.

(You can read the full research report on Freeport-McMoRan here >>>)

Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Netflix, Inc. (NFLX) and Molina Healthcare, Inc. (MOH).

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See 3 crypto-related stocks now >>

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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 https://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.


In-Depth Zacks Research for the Tickers Above


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Southern Company The (SO) - free report >>

FreeportMcMoRan Inc. (FCX) - free report >>

Lowe's Companies, Inc. (LOW) - free report >>