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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Occidental Petroleum, HP, Anthem, Medtronic and Ulta Beauty

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – August 28, 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 includeOccidental Petroleum (NYSE:OXY Free Report), HP (NYSE:(HPQ - Free Report) Free Report), Anthem (NYSE:ANTM Free Report)Medtronic (NYSE:MDT Free Report) and Ulta Beauty (NASDAQ:(ULTA - Free Report) Free Report).   

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Here are highlights from Friday’s Analyst Blog:

Top Analyst Reports for Monday: OXY, HPQ, ANTM & More

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 Occidental Petroleum (NYSE:(OXY - Free Report) Free Report), HP (NYSE:(HPQ - Free Report) Free Report) and Anthem (NYSE:(ANTM - Free Report) Free Report). 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 >>>

Occidental Petroleum shares have suffered this year, as have shares of all oil producers, to reflect the commodity's price slide and uneven outlook. That said, it has done better than its E&P peers (the stock is down -14.9% in the year-to-date period vs. -19.3% decline for the Zacks E&P industry), reflecting Occidental's strong position in the Permian basin and solid balance sheet. The company’s earnings per share and total revenues in the second quarter exceeded expectations.

The Zacks analyst likes the company’s stable cash flow generation and its attempts to reach cash flow breakeven at low oil prices. However, like other oil and natural gas companies, it faces the risks of cost overruns and development interruptions due to delays in drilling and other approvals, property or border disputes, and equipment failures.

(You canread the full research report on Occidental Petroleum here >>>).

Shares of HP have gained +32.7% year to date, underperforming the Zacks Minicomputers industry, which has gained +38.3% over the same period. However, HP recently reported stellar Q3 results. The Zacks analyst likes the performance of HP’s PC segment, which experienced a year-over-year improvement due to growth in Commercial and Consumer revenues.

HP’s efforts to turn around the business have been commendable. The company is working on product innovation, differentiation and enhancing the capabilities of its printing business to stabilize the top line. Nevertheless, pricing pressure due to intense competition remains a major concern. A tepid IT spending environment also adds to its woes.

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

Anthem’s shares have gained +57.1% over the last one year, outperforming the Zacks HMO industry’s increase of +43.3%. The Zacks analyst likes the company’s diverse product portfolio, which has helped in improving underwriting results. Anthem’s strategic acquisitions, divestures and ACO arrangements are expected to pave the way for long-term growth. Its rising level of medical membership continues to boost the top line.

The company’s strong capital position backs effective capital deployment. Followed by strong results in first half of 2017, the company has raised earnings and revenue guidance for 2017. However, the company’s high-debt level poses financial risk. The company’s weak public exchange business is another worry.

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

Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Medtronic (NYSE:(MDT - Free Report) Free Report) and Ulta Beauty (NASDAQ:(ULTA - Free Report) Free Report).

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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.

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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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 https://www.zacks.com/performancefor information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.



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