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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: BlackRock, Charter Communications, Intuitive, Statoil and Diageo

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – April 24, 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 BlackRock (BLK - Free Report) , Charter Communications (CHTR - Free Report) , Intuitive Surgical (ISRG - Free Report) , Statoil and Diageo (DEO - Free Report) .

Here are highlights from Monday’s Analyst Blog:

Top Stock Reports for BlackRock, Charter Communications and Intuitive Surgical

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 BlackRock, Charter Communications and Intuitive Surgical. These research reports have been hand-picked from the roughly 70 reports published by our analyst team today.

BlackRock’s shares have outperformed the Zacks Investment Management industry in the last six months, (+10.7% vs. -1.5%). This performance was supported by impressive earnings surprise history as the company surpassed expectations in three of the trailing four quarters. Its first-quarter 2018 results were supported by higher revenues and growth in assets under management (AUM).

The company is undertaking initiatives to restructure its actively managed equities business and expand globally via acquisitions to further boost top-line growth. Also, its efficient capital deployment activities will continue to enhance shareholder value. However, mounting expenses, mainly due to continued rise in marketing costs, might hurt the bottom-line growth to some extent. The company's high dependence on overseas revenues remains a matter of concern.

Shares of Charter Communications have outperformed the Zacks Cable TV industry over the past three months (-17.4% vs. -18.1%). Charter’s residential and commercial internet and voice customer growth continues to accelerate, which is evident from the revenue growth and subscriber gain. The Zacks analyst thinks the recently announced partnership with Comcast to develop back-end software to support services for Xfinity and Spectrum mobile offerings is significantly positive for the company’s growth prospects.

The collaboration will help in saving costs for both the companies. However, the company continues to struggle due to sluggish growth in a saturated and competitive multi-channel U.S. video market. Charter also faces stiff competition from online TV streaming service providers. The company's high debt level and consolidation-related woes are other potential hazards.

Strong Buy-ranked Intuitive Surgical’s shares have outperformed the Zacks Medical Instruments industry over the last year, gaining +66.5% vs +1%. Intuitive Surgical ended the first quarter of 2018 on a solid note, with both earnings and revenues surpassing expectations. The company’s flagship da Vinci procedures recorded solid growth and holds promise for the quarters ahead.

The company also saw solid expansion outside the United States in the recent past. A suite of regulatory approvals buoys optimism. Solid growth in prostatectomy procedure volumes lent Intuitive Surgical a competitive edge in the broader prostate surgery market. However, the company expects U.S. sales to decline in the quarters ahead, which raises concern.

Furthermore, looming foreign exchange volatility also adds to the woes. Intense competition in niche space and long sale and purchase order cycles of da Vinci unit has been currently plaguing the company.

Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Statoil and Diageo.

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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.