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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Royal Dutch Shell, Morgan Stanley, Aetna, Johnson Controls International and LyondellBasell Industries

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – October 13, 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 Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE: (RDS.A - Free Report)  – Free Report), Morgan Stanley (NYSE: (MS - Free Report)  – Free Report), Aetna (NYSE: (AET - Free Report)  – Free Report), Johnson Controls International (NYSE: (JCI - Free Report)  – Free Report) and LyondellBasell Industries (NYSE: (LYB - Free Report)  – Free Report).

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

Here are highlights from Thursday’s Analyst Blog:

Top Analyst Reports for Royal Dutch Shell, Morgan Staney and Aetna

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 Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE: (RDS.A - Free Report) – Free Report), Morgan Stanley (NYSE: (MS - Free Report) – Free Report) and Aetna (NYSE: (AET - 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 >>>

Royal Dutch Shell shares are up +12.6% so far in 2017 vs. the +1.8% gain for the Zacks Integrated Oil industry. The integrated behemoth's upstream unit have benefited from the steady oil recovery, while production contribution of BG assets continues to be strong.

The supermajor has also been able to reduce operating costs and progress on its large divestment program. Importantly, the company generated a surge in cash flows during the most recent quarter, allowing it to cut debt and cover its cash dividend.

However, with oil unable to stay above the psychologically-critical $50 threshold for more than a few days, Shell's near-to-medium term revenue outlook remains cloudy. The Zacks analyst is also apprehensive that the group's disposal program could affect production, which fell 11% sequentially in second quarter. Hence, the analyst advises investors to wait for a better entry point before buying shares in Europe's largest oil company.

(You can read the full research report on Royal Dutch Shell here >>>).

Morgan Stanley's shares have outperformed the Zacks Investment Bank industry, over the last six months (+20.8% vs. +16.4%). The performance was supported by the company’s impressive earnings surprise history. It surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in all the trailing four quarters.

The company’s efforts to offload its non-core assets to lower balance sheet risk and cost saving initiatives (Project Streamline) will likely lead to improvement in profitability. However, continued fall in corporate loan balances remains a near-term concern. This is significantly hurting the company's interest income growth.

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

Buy-rated Aetna’s shares outperformed the Zacks Health Maintenance Organization industry year to date, increasing +26% vs. a gain of +24.7%. The Zacks analyst expects the company to derive long-term growth from its Government business. Cost-reduction initiatives and growing ACO collaborations pave the way for long-term growth.

A strong balance sheet is another positive. Its International expansion is also perceived as an opportunity in the face of increased regulation in the U.S. Following strong second-quarter results, Aetna rasied its earnings guidance which cements investors' confidence in the company. The stock has seen the Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings being revised 6.3% upward over the last 90 days.

Aetna has, however, been incurring losses in its public exchange business and has been exiting exchanges to avoid losses from this business. Furthermore, its membership growth remains under pressure. Increasing medical benefit ratios are also likely to hurt margins.

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

Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Johnson Controls International (NYSE: (JCI - Free Report) – Free Report) and LyondellBasell Industries (NYSE: (LYB - Free Report) – Free Report).

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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