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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: UnitedHealth, 21st Century Fox, Sanofi, MasterCard and Barclays

UNH FOXA SNY MA BCS

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – November 30, 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 UnitedHealth (NYSE:(UNH - Free Report) –Free Report),21st Century Fox (NASDAQ:(FOXA - Free Report) –Free Report),Sanofi (NYSE:(SNY - Free Report) –Free Report),MasterCard (NYSE:(MA - Free Report) –Free Report) and Barclays (NYSE:(BCS - Free Report) – Free Report).

Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of the Day pick for free.

Here are highlights from Tuesday’s Analyst Blog:

Today’s Top Zacks Research Reports: UNH, FOXA, SNY

Today's Research Daily features new research reports on 16 major stocks, including UnitedHealth (NYSE:(UNH - Free Report) – Free Report), 21st Century Fox (NASDAQ:(FOXA - Free Report) –Free Report) and Sanofi (NYSE:(SNY - Free Report) – Free Report).

UnitedHealth shares have gained more than 29% year-to-date, outperforming the medical health maintenance organization industry by a wide margin. UnitedHealth issued optimistic guidance for 2017, backed by stable medical costs, higher contribution from Optum and decline in exposure from its public exchange business. The analyst stresses that the company is consistently gaining from the Medicaid and Medicare businesses. Continued growth at Optum is also leading to a diversified revenue source. The segment should see further growth from the Catamaran acquisition. Also, UnitedHealth should benefit from its capital strength, niche market position and a track record of returning excess cash to shareholders through dividend hikes and share buybacks. But industry fees and taxes, losses on public exchange business and overall uncertainty about the fate of ObamaCare are some of the headwinds. (You can read the full research report on UnitedHealth here>>)

21st Century Fox shares have lagged the consumer discretionary sector and the broader market in the year-to-date period, but they have performed better than the movie/TV production distribution industry. Twenty-First Century Fox posted its second straight positive earnings surprise, when it reported first-quarter fiscal 2017 results. The analyst likes its strong cable network programming, which has been its driving force, backed by rising affiliate fees. However, increase in programming costs and fluctuation in foreign currency exchange rate continues to act as a headwind for Twenty-First Century Fox. Further, it expects costs at its cable network to go up in fiscal 2017. Increase in expenses may dent the company’s margins and in turn the bottom line. (You can read the full research report on 21st Century Fox here>>)

Shares of French drug giant Sanofi have lagged the broader market in the year-to-date period, though they have done better than the peer large-cap pharma group on the back of strong quarterly results. The analyst likes the company’s focus on streamlining its business and pursuing business development deals. Further, products like Toujeo, Aubagio and Lemtrada are likely to do well. However, Sanofi’s Diabetes franchise is under significant pressure with key product Lantus, facing increasing competitive pressure at the payer level and biosimilar competition in several European markets & Japan. Sanofi’s outlook for its Diabetes franchise over the 2015–2018 timeframe is also bleak. Other headwinds include generic competition and slower-than-expected uptake of new products like Praluent. (You can read the full research report on Sanofi here>>)

Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include MasterCard (NYSE:(MA - Free Report) –Free Report) and Barclays (NYSE:(BCS - Free Report) – Free Report).

Free Access: All Zacks Research Reports
Starting today, you are invited to download in-depth analysis reports covering more than 1,000 of the most widely followed stocks. Valued at $25 each, they are yours to consult over the next 30 days absolutely free. They feature sensitive Zacks Rank information on each stock that you won't find anywhere else. See the reports free >>

Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1 Stock of the Day pick for free.

About Zacks Equity Research

Zacks Equity Research provides the best of quantitative and qualitative analysis to help investors know what stocks to buy and which to sell for the long-term.

Continuous coverage is provided for a universe of 1,150 publicly traded stocks. Our analysts are organized by industry which gives them keen insights to developments that affect company profits and stock performance. Recommendations and target prices are six-month time horizons.

Strong Stocks that Should Be in the News

Many are little publicized and fly under the Wall Street radar. They're virtually unknown to the general public. Yet today's 220 Zacks Rank #1 "Strong Buys" were generated by the stock-picking system that has nearly tripled the market from 1988 through 2015. Its average gain has been a stellar +26% per year. See these high-potential stocks free >>.

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