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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights Microsoft, Novo Nordisk, United Parcel Service, Booking and Elevance Health

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – April 16, 2024 – 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: Microsoft Corp. (MSFT - Free Report) , Novo Nordisk A/S (NVO - Free Report) , United Parcel Service, Inc. (UPS - Free Report) , Booking Holdings Inc. (BKNG - Free Report) and Elevance Health, Inc. (ELV - Free Report) .

Here are highlights from Monday’s Analyst Blog:

Top Analyst Reports for Microsoft, Novo Nordisk and UPS

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 Microsoft Corp., Novo Nordisk A/S and United Parcel Service, 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 >>>

Microsoft shares have outperformed the Zacks Tech sector over the past year (+46.7% vs. +42.3%), reflecting the company's perceived lead in the artificial intelligence (AI) race. The company is riding on strong growth from Intelligent Cloud and Productivity and Business Processes. Intelligent Cloud revenues are driven by growth in Azure and other cloud services. Productivity and Business Processes revenues continue to increase due to the strong adoption of Office 365 Commercial solutions.

Continued momentum in the small and medium businesses and frontline worker offerings, as well as a rise in revenue per user, drove top-line growth. Microsoft got off to an early lead in the generative AI race, thanks to its work with OpenAI. The general availability of Copilot for Security holds promise.

However, More Personal Computing revenues are suffering from continued weakness in Windows and Devices businesses. Declining gaming revenues have been a headwind.

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

Shares of Novo Nordisk have outperformed the Zacks Large Cap Pharmaceuticals industry over the past year (+46.8% vs. +17.8%). The company’s diabetes drugs Ozempic and Rybelsus and obesity drug Wegovy have been performing well, fueled by increasing demand. Label expansions of the same in cardiovascular and other indications will likely boost sales.

NVO has been tackling the supply constraints of Wegovy by increasing its manufacturing capabilities. Wegovy is now indicated in the United States to also reduce heart risks, which is a huge boost. Novo Nordisk recently received CHMP’s recommendation for the approval of insulin icodec in the EU for diabetes.

Novo Nordisk is also gearing up to buy Cardior to help diversify its portfolio beyond diabetes treatments and obesity drugs. However, intense rivalry in the obesity sector threatens Novo Nordisk’s market share. Patent expiry and pricing pressure across the diabetes market also remain a woe.

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

United Parcel shares have underperformed the Zacks Transportation - Air Freight and Cargo industry over the past year (-21.9% vs. -11.1%). The company is witnessing high labor costs arising out of the deal with the teamsters and the weak demand-induced volume woes. Rising capital expenses further add to its woes.

Nevertheless, the Zacks analyst is encouraged by UPS' solid free cash flow. Shareholder-friendly actions includes a 15th consecutive annual dividend increase and a $5 billion share repurchase authorization.

The 2022 UPS-ESW agreement aligns with the thriving cross-border e-commerce trend, especially among millennials and Gen Z. The approval of the five-year deal with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters in August 2023 is a positive development for UPS.

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

Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Booking Holdings Inc. and Elevance Health, 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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