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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Wal-Mart, Citigroup, Qualcomm, Sherwin-Williams and Baxter

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – Jan 05, 2018 – 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 Wal-Mart (WMT - Free Report) , Citigroup (C - Free Report) , Qualcomm (QCOM - Free Report) , Sherwin-Williams (SHW - Free Report) and Baxter (BAX - 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 Stock Reports for Wal-Mart, Citigroup and Qualcomm

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 Wal-Mart, Citigroup and Qualcomm. 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 >>>

Wal-Mart’s shares have been strong performers lately, with the stock up +32% over the last six months, outperforming the S&P 500's +11.8% gain in the same time period. Wal-Mart Stores, recently announced plans to drop the “hyphen” and “stores” from its name to officially emerge as an omnichannel retailer.

The company has been riding on its robust past record, which derives strength from constant e-commerce initiatives, like buyouts, alliances, surging grocery business and improved delivery systems. Thanks to these trends, along with solid traffic, Walmart’s third-quarter fiscal 2018 marked its ninth and 13th straight quarter of positive earnings surprise and comps growth, respectively.

Also, the company’s international business remains a growth driver. However, costs associated with technological and e-commerce investments; mix impact from growing e-commerce operations and a compelling pricing strategy have been hurting Walmart’s gross margin for a while now. Stiff competition and volatile consumer spending also pose threats.

(You can read the full research report on Wal-Mart here >>>).

Shares of Citigroup have underperformed the Zacks Major Banks industry over the last six months, gaining +8.9% vs +11.3%. Yet, the company boasts an impressive earnings surprise history. The company has surpassed expectations for earnings in all the trailing four quarters.

The Zacks analyst thinks the company’s restructuring and streamlining efforts, strategic investments in core business and expense management will likely support profitability going forward. Moreover, expansion of wealth management business in Australia will act as a tailwind.

Notably, following the recent Federal Reserve interest rate hike, Citigroup raised its prime lending rate from 4.25% to 4.50%. Yet, several issues, including litigation burden are cause for concern. Also, in spite of rising rates, margins are under pressure due to persistent decline in the company’s legacy holdings portfolio.

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

Qualcomm's shares have gained +26% over the last three months vs +11.2% for the Zacks Wireless Equipment industry. Qualcomm, Verizon and Ericsson jointly completed the first Massive MIMO (Multiple Input-Multiple Output) trial with a fully-compatible customer device. Qualcomm achieved a 5G data connection with the Snapdragon X50 5G modem chipset on 28GHz mmWave spectrum.

Qualcomm is teaming up with Verizon and Novatel Wireless for 5G NR mmWave technology trial. This marks Qualcomm’s leadership in 5G, chipset market and mobile connectivity. Qualcomm is extending a cash tender offer for its pending NXP Semiconductor deal.

Qualcomm rejected Broadcom's takeover offer on grounds of inadequacy. However, the company continues to receive charges for unfair business practices and licensing royalty payments. Regulatory disputes and aggressive competition in the mobile phone chipset market continues to bother.

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

Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Sherwin-Williams and Baxter.

Wall Street’s Next Amazon

Zacks EVP Kevin Matras believes this familiar stock has only just begun its climb to become one of the greatest investments of all time. It’s a once-in-a-generation opportunity to invest in pure genius.

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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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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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