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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: AbbVie, Union Pacific, U.S. Bancorp, Baker Hughes and Southwest Airlines

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – December 21, 2016 – 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 AbbVie (NYSE:(ABBV - Free Report) – Free Report), Union Pacific (NYSE:(UNP - Free Report) – Free Report), U.S. Bancorp (NYSE:(USB - Free Report) – Free Report), Baker Hughes (NYSE: – Free Report) and Southwest Airlines (NYSE:(LUV - Free Report) – Free Report).

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Here are highlights from Tuesday’s Analyst Blog:

Fresh Analyst Reports for Wednesday

Today's Research Daily features new research reports on 16 major stocks, including AbbVie (NYSE:(ABBV - Free Report) – Free Report), Union Pacific (NYSE:(UNP - Free Report) – Free Report) and U.S. Bancorp (NYSE:(USB - Free Report) – Free Report).

Shares of AbbVie have gained +5.8% since results of the presidential election were declared on Nov 8, outperforming the Zacks Medical sector which has gained +2.3% over the same period. The analyst likes its key drug Humira’s performance. Sales should continue to be driven by growing awareness, favorable clinical data, additional indications and expansion into new markets. Moreover, products like Viekira and Imbruvica have diversified AbbVie’s revenue base. AbbVie has a deep and promising pipeline and is also working on expanding its portfolio though additional deals. On the flip side, the Zacks analyst points out that Viekira faces intense pricing pressure and competition in the HCV market. Additionally, quite a few companies are working on bringing Humira biosimilars to the market. (You can read the full research report on AbbVie here>>>)

Union Pacific shares have increased +14.1% since Nov 8, outperforming the Zacks Transportation sector, which has gained +8.4% over the same period. Driving the stock's outperformance despite well-known headwinds facing the transportation group as a whole is its track record of operating efficiencies, strong cash flows and shareholder-friendly policies. Growing optimism about the economy following hopes of market friendly policies from the new administration is helping the stock as well as the broader transportation group. However, it continues to struggle due to coal-related headwinds, which have been primarily responsible for it underperforming the broader market over the last six months. Coal woes are expected to hurt its fourth-quarter results, scheduled for Jan 19. (You can read the full research report on Union Pacific here>>>)

Buy rated U.S. Bancorp shares have outperformed the Zacks Finance sector since Nov 8, gaining +15.3% over the period versus the sector’s +11.2% increase. The analyst likes its solid business model, core franchise and diverse revenue streams. Also, the company raised its prime lending rate to 3.75%, following Fed interest rate hike to 0.50%-0.75%. This is expected to alleviate some margin pressure. Further, the company's steady capital deployment activities continue to enhance shareholders’ value. However, the stringent regulations and litigations remain key concerns. (You can read the full research report on U.S. Bancorp here>>>)

Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Baker Hughes (NYSE: – Free Report) and Southwest Airlines (NYSE:(LUV - Free Report) – Free Report). You can see all of today's research reports here >>>>

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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.

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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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