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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights Union Pacific, Starbucks, Duke Energy, Copart and HP

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – March 16, 2023 – 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: Union Pacific Corp. (UNP - Free Report) , Starbucks Corp. (SBUX - Free Report) , Duke Energy Corp. (DUK - Free Report) , Copart, Inc. (CPRT - Free Report) and HP Inc. (HPQ - Free Report)

Here are highlights from Wednesday’s Analyst Blog:

Top Analyst Reports for Union Pacific, Starbucks and Duke Energy

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 Union Pacific Corp., Starbucks Corp. and Duke Energy Corp.. 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 >>>

Shares of Union Pacific have underperformed the Zacks Transportation - Rail industry over the past year (-26.1% vs. -18.7%). The company is facing the heat due to the escalation in fuel costs, as oil prices move north which is worrisome. This phenomenon induced a 20% rise in operating expenses in 2022. Fuel costs surged 68% last year. The same is likely to be high in the March quarter as well.

However, Union Pacific's efforts to reward its shareholders even in the current uncertain scenario please us. The company hiked dividend twice in 2021. In May 2022, UNP further upped its quarterly dividend by 10%. The railroad operator is also active on the buyback front.

In 2022, UNP bought back shares worth $6,282 million. The railroad operator paid dividends worth $3,159 million in 2022. UNP's strong free cash flow generating ability supports its shareholder-friendly activities. The uptick in overall volumes (up 2% year over year in 2002) as labor woes ease is an added positive.

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

Starbucks shares have outperformed the Zacks Retail - Restaurants industry over the past year (+14.0% vs. +7.8%). The company is benefiting from solid global brand recognition supporting which management focuses on increasing global market share by judiciously opening stores in new and existing markets, and remodeling existing stores.

North America comps continue to impress investors. The company also aids from successful menu innovations and digital initiatives along with its exceptional loyalty programs.

However, its performance continues to be negatively impacted by dismal China results, higher-than-expected inflationary pressures, increased costs and a tight labor market. Earnings estimate for fiscal 2023 declined in the past 60 days depicting analysts' concern over its growth prospects.

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

Shares of Duke Energy have underperformed the Zacks Utility - Electric Power industry over the past year (-10.3% vs. -7.8%). The company's ability to achieve a net-zero target by 2050 at a cost-effective price could be at risk due to higher technological resource prices. A comparative analysis of the stock's trailing 12-month Enterprise Value/Sales ratio shows a gloomy picture that may concern investors.

Nevertheless, Duke Energy is a premier utility service provider which focuses on expanding its scale of operations and implementing modern technologies at its facilities by investing heavily in infrastructure and expansion projects. During the 2023-2027 period, the company plans capital investments of $65 billion. It also plans to expand in the electric vehicle segment.

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

Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Copart, Inc. and HP Inc.

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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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