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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights Merck, Cisco, Morgan Stanley, CME Group and Canadian Natural Resources

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – September 15, 2022 – 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: Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK - Free Report) , Cisco Systems, Inc. (CSCO - Free Report) , Morgan Stanley (MS - Free Report) , CME Group Inc. (CME - Free Report) , and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. (CNQ - Free Report) .

Here are highlights from Wednesday’s Analyst Blog:

Top Analyst Reports for Merck, Cisco and Morgan Stanley

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 Merck & Co., Inc., Cisco Systems, Inc. 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 >>>

Merck shares have outperformed the Zacks Large Cap Pharmaceuticals industry over the past year (+21.6% vs. +9.0%). Company products like Keytruda, Gardasil and Bridion have been driving sales. With continued label expansion into new indications & early-stage settings, Keytruda is expected to remain a key top-line driver.

Animal health and vaccine products are core growth drivers. Its new COVID oral antiviral pill, Lagevrio, is a key top-line driver in 2022. Merck also has a strong cancer pipeline, including Keytruda, which should drive long-term growth.

However, generic competition for several drugs and rising competitive pressure, mainly on the diabetes franchise, will continue to be overhangs on the top line. There are concerns about Merck’s ability to grow its non-oncology business ahead of Keytruda’s loss of exclusivity later in the decade.

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

Cisco’s shares have gained +15.3% over the past two years against the Zacks Computer - Networking industry’s gain of +14.6%. The company’s results benefited from strength in its product portfolio, customer segments and momentum in product order growth. It is benefiting from a healthy uptake of identity and access, advanced threat and unified threat management security solutions amid high growth in Internet traffic.

The buyout of Acacia is key catalyst. Cisco is expanding its portfolio with the launch of Silicon One-based 8000 routers, Nexus Cloud, Calisti and Panoptica. Cisco also announced AppDynamics Cloud, a next-gen version of its observability platform for cloud native applications.

Cisco’s investments across its security business, focusing on cloud-based offerings, is expected to drive growth over the long haul. Cisco provided a strong outlook for first-quarter and fiscal 2023.

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

Morgan Stanley’s shares have declined -9.1% year-to-date against the Zacks Financial - Investment Bank industry’s decline of -11.9%. The company’s ambiguity about the performance of the capital markets remains a major concern and is expected to keep hampering investment banking (IB) and trading revenues. Elevated expenses due to investments and inflationary pressure will likely hurt profits to some extent in the near term.

However, Morgan Stanley is continuously undertaking measures, including the acquisitions of Eaton Vance and E*Trade Financial, to become less dependent on capital market-driven revenue sources.

These initiatives are bearing fruit. Increased focus on corporate lending will likely keep supporting financials in the quarters ahead. Further, higher interest rates will support net interest income.

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

Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include CME Group Inc., and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd.

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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.

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