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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Koninklijke Ahold N.V., Gilead Sciences, HCA Holdings and Tyson Foods

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – March 16, 2016 – 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 Koninklijke Ahold N.V. , Gilead Sciences Inc. (GILD - Free Report) , HCA Holdings, Inc. (HCA - Free Report) and Tyson Foods, Inc. (TSN - Free Report) .

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Here are highlights from Tuesday’s Analyst Blog:

4 Large-Caps to Navigate a Turbulent Market

There’s no place as unpredictable as the stock market. The equity market was in the red zone at the start of 2016 thanks to global growth worries. Only two and a half months have passed and the markets are already on a recovery mode. Evidently, major indices like the NASDAQ Composite, the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average have gained nearly 9.5%, 8.3% and 7.9%, respectively, over the past month.

The U.S. economy was largely disturbed by China’s derailment, and the descending prices of crude oil and commodities. These factors also hinted at a global recession in 2016, keeping the most stoic investor extra cautious about wealth. This was more pronounced when a massive sell-off hit the markets in the early part of the year. However, with the U.S. market returning to the positive territory over the past month, things started looking better.

While oil prices are witnessing a rebound, favorable data with regard to consumer spending, retail sales, producer prices, factory production and inflation have injected some confidence into the otherwise drab economy. Also, the recent strong jobs data eased fears of a recession in the U.S.

However, don’t count chickens before they hatch. Perhaps it will be too early to predict the future of the market based on the current positive streak which might be a short-lived one. In a market as erratic as this, some investors are still harboring Chinese fears, while the optimists are hopeful of the future. Amid all the confusion, investors need to create the right portfolio.

Let’s Do This

When we hunt for stocks that are galloping ahead, we need to ensure they are reliable. For instance, small-cap stocks, with their comparatively deeper risk profile, tend to react much more aggressively to events. Thus, pullbacks or turnarounds also happen faster for these companies, and investors may not get out fast enough to avoid getting trapped.

Hence, we will focus on large-caps, which are big, established companies in the stock market, and have been around for a while. By virtue of their dominant market position, global footprint and relatively consistent cash flow stream, these companies tend to be more reliable investments.

And when these big-wigs gain momentum on an upswing, it’s safe to assume that there is some strong rationale for the move.

Making the Optimum Choice

We can take resort to our Zacks Style Score, which helps in selecting stocks that have a strong upside potential. If you are familiar with the Zack Style Score system then it will not be hard to get a grasp over the VGM score. Here, V stands for Value, G for Growth and M for Momentum. The VGM score is simply a weighted combination of these parameters and is a comprehensive tool that allows investors to filter through the standard scoring system and better choose winning stocks.

Next, we focus on more reliable large caps with a favorable Zacks Rank for the best results.

Assimilating these factors, we zeroed in on the following four picks that flaunt a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy) and a VGM score of “A”. Moreover, with market capitalization of over $10 billion, these stocks are marching ahead, full steam, with room for upside.

Stocks to Bet On

Koninklijke Ahold N.V. (AHONY)

Headquartered in Zaandam, the Netherlands, Koninklijke Ahold retails food through supermarkets, hypermarkets and discount stores. The company operates through subsidiaries and joint ventures of retail trade stores in the United States and Europe and a foodservice business in the United States.

With market capitalization of $18.5 billion, the company has seen a sharp spike in the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2016, which now stands at $1.31 per share, up from $1.13 a month back. Additionally, Koninklijke Ahold’s Zacks Rank #1 makes it a solid bet.

Gilead Sciences Inc. (GILD)

Sporting a Zacks Rank #2, Gilead Sciences is a biopharmaceutical company focusing on the discovery, development and commercialization of drugs for several indications including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), liver diseases such as chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection, oncology and inflammation, and serious cardiovascular and respiratory conditions. Gilead operates in North America, South America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific. The company was founded in 1987 and is headquartered in Foster City, CA.

Gilead Sciences, which delivered positive earnings surprises in all the four quarters of 2015, has a market capitalization of $122.5 billion. Further, analysts see solid prospects for the company, as the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2016 has trended sharply up over the past 2 months, from $11.76 to $12.11 per share, thanks to two upward estimate revisions versus no downward revision.

HCA Holdings, Inc. (HCA)

This Nashville, TN-based company sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) with a market capitalization of $29.8 billion. With its positive surprise history, HCA Holdings has seen its Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2016 jump 7.8% to $6.24 per share over the past 60 days.

HCA Inc. is a non-governmental hospital in the U.S. providing health care and related services. The company operates a network of acute care hospitals, outpatient facilities, clinics and other patient care delivery settings. The company also owns and manages freestanding surgery centers, diagnostic and imaging centers, radiation and oncology therapy centers, rehabilitation and physical therapy centers, and various other facilities.

Tyson Foods, Inc. (TSN)

If you’re still hungry, this Zacks Rank #1 stock can satiate your appetite. Headquartered in Arkansas, Tyson Foods Inc. was founded in 1935. It produces, distributes and markets chicken, beef, pork, prepared foods and allied products. Its products are marketed and sold primarily by sales staff to grocery retailers, grocery wholesalers, meat distributors, military commissaries, industrial food processing companies, chain restaurants, international export companies and domestic distributors.

Over the past two months, analysts have become increasingly bullish on the company, with three upward estimate revisions that have taken the Zacks Consensus Estimate for fiscal 2016 to $3.95 per share today from $3.62.

Get Going

So, if you are set to maneuver an uncertain market, these are the right picks for you. Their strong fundamentals blended with bullish analyst interest could just have unleashed runaway stocks that might rally strongly in the months to come.

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