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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Merck, Caterpillar, Intel, Analog Devices and Best Buy

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – September 01, 2017 – 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 Merck (NYSE:MRK Free Report), Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT Free Report), Intel (NASDAQ:INTC Free Report)Analog Devices (NASDAQ:ADI Free Report) and Best Buy (NYSE:BBY Free Report).  

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Here are highlights from Thursday’s Analyst Blog:

Top Stock Reports for Merck, Caterpillar and Intel

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 Merck (NYSE:(MRK - Free Report) Free Report), Caterpillar (NYSE:(CAT - Free Report) Free Report) and Intel (NASDAQ:(INTC - 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 >>>

Merck’s shares have underperformed the Zacks Large Cap Pharmaceuticals industry over the last year, gaining +3.3% versus +7.5%. However, Merck has been pursuing acquisitions and business development deals to boost its pipeline. New products like Keytruda and Zepatier should continue to contribute meaningfully to the top line.

Keytruda is gaining strong momentum from new indication of first-line lung cancer. The Keytruda development program also significantly advanced in the first half with several key regulatory approvals.

Meanwhile, Merck will continue to focus on cost-cutting initiatives to drive the bottom line. However, generic competition for several drugs and pricing pressure will continue to be overhangs on the top line. Rising competition in the immuno-oncology market is also a significant concern. The Zacks analyst discusses all of these issues in the updated research report issued today.

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

Shares of Strong Buy-rated Caterpillar have gained +29.7% year-to-date, outperforming the Zacks Construction and Mining industry which has increased +27.2% over the same period. Caterpillar has been awarded a five year $663.6 million fixed-price contract from the Pentagon to supply commercial construction equipment. Caterpillar reported 12% rise in sales in July, its best performance so far in 2017.

Backed by upbeat results and improved order activity, Caterpillar hiked revenue guidance to the range of $42–$44 billion and projects earnings per share of $5.00. The Zacks analyst thinks Asia Pacific will continue to be a catalyst for both Resource Industries as well as construction, owing to increased infrastructure and residential investment in China.

Leading indicators of U.S. construction signal robust conditions ahead that bode well for Caterpillar. Further, efforts to reduce costs will boost margins.

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

Buy-rated Intel’s shares have lost -1.7% year to date, in contrast to the broader Technology sector  as well as the red-hot semiconductors space (each up +19.7%). But Intel’s growing focus on the data-centric part of the business is encouraging. The launch of Xeon Scalable is anticipated to improve its footprint in the data center as well as AI space, going forward.

The company unveiled Myriad X, which will boost footprint in the IoT space. Moreover, the recent Core 8 launch will boost PC market share amid intensifying competition from AMD. Further, anticipated improvement in cost structure and lower spending, primarily due to improving operational efficiency will aid in expansion of margins going forward.

Additionally, aggressive share buyback will boost the bottom line in 2017. However, Top-PC makers like HP, Lenovo, and Asus are set to launch PCs based on Qualcomm’s ARM-based Snapdragon processor, which is a headwind for the company. Moreover, declining PC-shipments is a concern.

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

Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Analog Devices (NASDAQ:(ADI - Free Report) Free Report) and Best Buy (NYSE:(BBY - 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.

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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 information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

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