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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: UnitedHealth, United Technologies, Eni, Sanofi and Discovery

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – May 24, 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 UnitedHealth (UNH - Free Report) , United Technologies (UTX - Free Report) , Eni (E - Free Report) , Sanofi (SNY - Free Report) and Discovery (DISCA - Free Report) .

Here are highlights from Wednesday’s Analyst Blog:

Top Research Reports for UnitedHealth, United Technologies and Eni

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 UnitedHealth, United Technologies and Eni. These research reports have been hand-picked from the roughly 70 reports published by our analyst team today.

Buy-rankedUnitedHealth's shares have outperformed the Zacks Medical Insurance industry year to date (up +11.2% vs. +8.2%). The Zacks analyst thinks the company's robust Government business and continued strong performance at Optum are driving long-term growth. Its international business and strong capital position driving business investment are the other positives.

The company has been witnessing an increase in membership over the past many years. It again lifted its 2018 earnings guidance, buoying optimism among investors in the stock.

However, membership loss in its fee-based commercial as well as Brazilian businesses will contract the overall membership growth for UnitedHealth Group. Additionally, higher medical care ratio raises concern.

Shares of United Technologies have gained +4.7% in the last year, outperforming the Zacks Diversified Operations industry, which has lost -11.6% over the same period. United Technologies serves various end-markets.

The Zacks analyst thinks that this allows it to remain profitable even during tough economic conditions. The company has offered a bullish guidance for 2018 on healthy demand trends and is likely to deliver sustainable earnings growth in future with Rockwell merger. United Technologies remains focused on four key priorities: flawless execution, innovation, structural cost reduction and disciplined capital allocation to fuel its growth engine.

However, fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates may affect the company’s bottom-line growth. In addition, a disruption in deliveries from suppliers, capacity constraints, production disruptions, price changes or decreased availability of raw materials or commodities is likely to have an adverse effect on the company’s ability to meet delivery schedules, thereby increasing its operating costs.

Eni's shares have gained +13.2% in the last year, underperforming the Zacks Integrated Oil industry which has gained +30% over the same period. Eni has prospective upstream projects in Angola, Egypt, Ghana, Indonesia and Kazakhstan. This is likely to aid the company achieve 4% targeted output growth through 2021. In fact, year-over-year increase in oil and natural gas production has supported the company’s strong first-quarter 2018 earnings.

Eni intends to raise the dividend for 2018 to €0.83 per share, up 3.75% from the level in 2017. This reflects the integrated energy player's strong commitment of returning cash to the shareholders. However, Eni's debt level is higher than the industry average. Also, the recovery of crude prices has been affecting the company’s refining businesses.

Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Sanofi and Discovery.

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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/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.



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