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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: PepsiCo, Walgreens, Ford, Analog Devices and EOG

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – January 10, 2018 – 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 PepsiCo (PEP - Free Report) , Walgreens Boots (WBA - Free Report) , EOG Resources (EOG - Free Report) , Ford (F - Free Report) and Analog Devices (ADI - Free Report) .

Here are highlights from Tuesday’s Analyst Blog:

Top Stock Reports for Pepsi, Walgreens Boots and EOG

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 PepsiCo, Walgreens Boots and EOG Resources. These research reports have been hand-picked from the roughly 70 reports published by our analyst team today.

PepsiCo’s shares have gained +15.7% year to date, underperforming the Zacks Soft Beverages industry, which has increased +17.4% over the same period. However, PepsiCo has been doing well on the back of significant innovation, continued momentum in Frito-Lay business, revenue management strategies, improved productivity and cost-saving initiatives, along with better market execution.

Moreover, an improving economy, better industry pricing dynamics and a consistency in positive innovation bode well. It rolled out several products recently which management believes will drive sales and profits in 2018.

That said, growing health awareness has been hurting the CSD category, resulting in a 4% volume decline in the first nine months of 2017 in North America. Again, rising volatility in global markets and increasing currency headwinds may dampen growth.

Shares of Buy-rated Walgreens Boots have done better than the embattled Zacks Drug Stores industry over the last year (WBA is down -10.7% vs. decline of -12.3% for the peer group). Walgreens Boots reported an impressive first quarter of fiscal 2018. The increase in sales at the Retail Pharmacy International is a major positive.

Moreover, Walgreens Boots has been gaining on account of strategic tie-ups, which brought more patients to its U.S. pharmacies. The Zacks analyst likes the Rite Aid stores acquisition deal for which the company got regulatory approval recently. Also, the company is expanding its global footprint with its decision to acquire a 40% stake in Sinopharm Holding Guoda Drugstores in China which should provide a strong impetus to Walgreens Boots’ worldwide retail pharmacy business.

On the flip side, declining sales at the Retail Pharmacy was a disappointment. The company faces tough competition along with currency fluctuations. Also, slowdown in generic introduction continues to weigh on margins.

Buy-rated EOG Resources’ shares have gained around +9% over the last one year, outperforming the Zacks Oil & Gas E&P Industry, which has declines -11.1% over the same period. EOG Resources holds premium acreages in the Permian, Bakken and Eagle Ford oil shale plays in the United States.

The Zacks analyst likes the firm’s plan to complete 505 wells in the resources in 2017, significantly higher than 443 recorded in 2016. Notably, during 2016, almost 50% of the wells drilled by the firm met the standard of premium wells. The company expected 80% and 90% of the wells to meet the standards in 2017 and 2018, respectively.

In the promising U.S. shale plays, EOG Resources has identified 8,000 premium wells that can give access to almost 7.3 billion barrels of oil equivalent estimated potential reserves over a period of 10 years. The upstream energy player’s pricing chart history is also impressive.

Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Ford and Analog Devices.

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



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