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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Alibaba, Aetna, 21st Century Fox, Adobe and Pioneer Natural Resources

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – Dec 5, 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 Alibaba (BABA - Free Report) , Aetna (AET - Free Report) , 21st Century Fox (FOXA - Free Report) , Adobe (ADBE - Free Report) and Pioneer Natural Resources (PXD - Free Report) .

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

Here are highlights from Monday’s Analyst Blog:

Top Research Reports for Alibaba, Aetna & 21st Century Fox

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 Alibaba, Aetna and 21st Century Fox. 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 >>>

Buy-ratedAlibaba’s shares have outperformed the Zacks Electronic Commerce industry, on a year-to-date basis, gaining +98.8% vs. +58.1%. Alibaba's solid growth in the company’s core e-commerce business, strong growth in metrics and international strength help it to generate significant revenues. Other drivers include strong mobile strength.

The Zacks analyst likes Alibaba’s strong core e-commerce business, its continued efforts to develop new products, international growth opportunities, strong financial position and growing cloud computing services. However, macro headwinds, continued investments and increasing competition from Tencent Holdings and Baidu remain the overhangs.

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

Shares of Aetna have outperformed the Zacks Health Maintenance Organization industry year to date, increasing +46.2% vs. a gain of +44.1%. The recent agreement on the acquisition of the company by CVS Health seems to be grand opportunity for the former. This is because this buyout is expected to aid Aetna to expand its scale and size, which in turn would help the company to negotiate with drug manufacturers and pharmacies in an improved manner.

The deal should bring significant earnings growth, which has been hurt by a number of headwinds. These headwinds include increase in medical benefit ratio, pressure on membership, Medicaid contract loss and exit of individual commercial business on public exchanges. Nevertheless, its strong capital position would enable share buybacks that should provide a cushion to the bottom line. Also, cost control efforts are anticipated to aid the margins.

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

21st Century Fox’s shares have increased +16.8% over the last year, outperforming the Zacks Film and Television industry, which has gained +15.1% over the same period. The company continues to impress investors with its positive earnings surprise for the sixth straight quarter, when it reported first-quarter fiscal 2018 results.

The quarter also marked its second successive revenue beat, wherein both the top and bottom line grew year over year. The company’s impressive performance was driven by robust affiliate revenues across the Cable Network Programming and Television segments. Higher content revenues at the Filmed Entertainment segment also contributed.

Despite these tailwinds, elevated programming costs remain a cause of concern. Increase in expenses may dent margins and in turn the bottom line. Further, the company’s proposed acquisition of remaining 61% stake in Sky plc hit a roadblock after U.K. Culture Secretary Karen Bradley demanded a detailed review from the Competition and Markets Authority.

(You can read the full research report on 21st Century Fox here >>>).

Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Adobe and Pioneer Natural Resources.

5 Medical Stocks to Buy Now

Zacks names 5 companies poised to ride a medical breakthrough that is targeting cures for leukemia, AIDS, muscular dystrophy, hemophilia and other conditions.

New products in this field are already generating substantial revenue and even more wondrous treatments are in the pipeline. Early investors could realize exceptional profits.

Click here to see the 5 stocks >>

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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Zacks Investment Research is under common control with affiliated entities (including a broker-dealer and an investment adviser), which may engage in transactions involving the foregoing securities for the clients of such affiliates.

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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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