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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Berkshire Hathaway, Oracle, Merck, Honeywell and Altria

BRK.B ORCL MRK HON MO

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – April 20, 2017 – 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 Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: (BRK.B - Free Report) Free Report ), Oracle (NYSE: (ORCL - Free Report) Free Report ), Merck (NYSE: (MRK - Free Report) Free Report ), Honeywell (NYSE: (HON - Free Report) Free Report ) and Altria (NYSE: (MO - Free Report) Free Report ).

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

Here are highlights from Wednesday’s Analyst Blog:

Top Research Reports for Thursday: BRK.B, ORCL, MRK

Today's Research Daily features new research reports on 16 major stocks, including Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: (BRK.B - Free Report) Free Report ), Oracle (NYSE:(ORCL - Free Report) Free Report ) and Merck (NYSE:(MRK - Free Report) Free Report ).

Berkshire Hathaway 's shares have lost ground lately, with the stock lagging the broader market since March 1st. The stock has also fallen behind the S&P 500 and the Zacks Finance sector. The insurance business, which remains at the core of this financial conglomerate's business portfolio, is as much a beneficiary of the post-election momentum in interest rates as are traditional banks and brokers. But Berkshire Hathaway is more than insurance - it has assets in the railroads, oil pipelines and many other spaces.

Investment in Apple (increasing its stake fourfold) and in the four biggest U.S. airlines (increased sevenfold) is testimony to the confidence in the post-election business environment. The company's name has long been synonymous with Warren Buffet, concerns about whose succession have been an issue for the stock. The company is expected to report first quarter results on May 5th. (You can read the full research report on Berkshire Hathaway here. )

Shares of Oracle has outperformed the Zacks Technology Sector year-to-date, gaining +15.8% vs. +8.1%. The company’s offerings in SaaS and PaaS have gained significant momentum in the past few quarters, which improves competitive position against salesforce.com and Workday. The introduction of Gen 2 IaaS data centers is expected to improve Oracle’s competitive prowess against Amazon.

The Zacks analyst likes the company’s growing cloud market share and believes it will continue to drive top-line growth for the foreseeable future. The recent acquisition of Moat is a significant addition to the Oracle Data Cloud, which will boost ad measurement capability. However, the transition from on-premise licensing to cloud-based subscription business model will take some more time to complete, which will impact near-term results. (You can read the full research report on Oracle here. )

Merck ’s shares have gained +10% over the last one year, outperforming the Zacks Large Cap Pharma industry which has lost -2.7% over the same period. The Zacks analyst likes Merck’s new products, especially Keytruda, which should continue to contribute meaningfully to the top line. Merck will continue to focus on cost-cutting initiatives to drive the bottom line.

The company has also made significant progress with its pipeline and is working on bringing new products to the market. Merck has also been pursuing acquisitions and business development deals to boost its pipeline. However, generic competition and pricing pressure will continue to pressurize the top line. Merck will continue to focus on cost-cutting initiatives to drive the bottom line. The company has also made significant progress with its pipeline and is working on bringing new products to the market.

However, generic competition and pricing pressure will continue to pressurize the top line. Estimates have gone up ahead of the company’s Q1 earnings release. Merck has a positive record of earnings surprises in the recent quarters. (You can read the full research report on Merck here. )

Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Honeywell (NYSE: (HON - Free Report) Free Report ) and Altria (NYSE:(MO - Free Report) Free Report ).

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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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