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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights Salesforce, BP, The Southern, PayPal and Edwards Lifesciences

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Chicago, IL – May 9, 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: Salesforce, Inc. (CRM - Free Report) , BP p.l.c. (BP - Free Report) , The Southern Co. (SO - Free Report) , PayPal Holdings, Inc. (PYPL - Free Report) and Edwards Lifesciences Corp. (EW - Free Report) .

Top Analyst Reports for Salesforce, BP and Southern Companies

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 Salesforce, Inc., BP p.l.c. and The Southern Co. 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 Salesforce have outperformed the Zacks Computer - Software industry over the past year (+37.9% vs. +33.4%). The company is benefiting from a robust demand environment as customers are undergoing a major digital transformation. Its sustained focus on aligning products with customer needs is driving the top line.

Continued deal wins in the international market are another growth driver. The buyout of Slack has positioned the company as a leader in enterprise team collaboration and improved its competitive standing versus Microsoft Teams. Salesforce’s strategy of continuously expanding generative AI offerings will help it tap the growing opportunities in the space.

However, stiff competition and unfavorable currency fluctuations are concerns. Also, softening IT spending amid ongoing macroeconomic uncertainties could hurt its growth prospects.

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

BP’s shares have gained +6.4% over the past year against the Zacks Oil and Gas -- Integrated -- International industry’s gain of +11.2%. The company has a strong portfolio of upstream projects, supporting notable growth in production. The integrated energy company exhibits robust upstream growth with the start-up of major projects like Seagull, which boosts its production capacity.

Diversification into renewables through the Lightsource BP acquisition supports long-term sustainability amid energy transitions. The divestment strategy aims to reach $25 billion by 2025, enhancing the balance sheet and returning capital to shareholders.

However, a high debt-to-capitalization ratio raises financial flexibility and balance sheet concerns. Also, despite resolving significant litigation expenses from the 2010 oil spill, BP had to sell valuable assets. These divestitures could potentially limit future cash generation. Refining margins may face pressure due to narrower crude differentials.

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

Southern Company’s shares have outperformed the Zacks Utility - Electric Power industry over the past year (+7.2% vs. +1.7%). The company is leveraging the demographics of its operating territories, as in healthy population and job growth, it has gradually increased its customer base.

With good rate base growth, constructive regulation, and with the power supplier’s recent success in bringing the Vogtle nuclear project online, Southern is expected to generate steady earnings and dividend growth going forward.

However, the utility’s high leverage restricts financial flexibility, while an increased focus on nuclear energy could face opposition amidst growing environmental concerns. As it is, the utility sector remains sensitive to interest rate fluctuations and market sentiment. Therefore, Southern Company warrants a cautious stance from the investors.

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

Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include PayPal Holdings, Inc. and Edwards Lifesciences Corp.

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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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