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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Union Pacific, Twenty-First Century Fox, BP, Mondelez and TOTAL

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – July 11, 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 Union Pacific (UNP - Free Report) , Twenty-First Century Fox (FOXA - Free Report) , BP plc (BP - Free Report) , Mondelez (MDLZ - Free Report) and TOTAL (TOT - Free Report) .

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

Here are highlights from Tuesday’s Analyst Blog:

Top Analyst Reports for Union Pacific, 21st Century Fox and BP

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 Union Pacific, Twenty-First Century Fox and BP plc. 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 >>>

Union Pacific’s shares have outperformed the Zacks Rail industry (+33.6% vs. +20.6%) as well as fellow railroad operator Norfolk Southern Corp. (+28.3%) in the last one year. The Zacks analyst expects Union Pacific to perform well in the second quarter of 2018 as well. Detailed results should be out on Jul 19.

Higher freight revenues are expected to boost the company’s second-quarter results. The metric is likely to increase on the back of overall volume growth among other factors.

The company's efforts to reward shareholders are also impressive. At its Investor Day on May 31, Union Pacific stated that it intends to repurchase shares worth $20 billion during 2018-20 period. Dividend payout ratio in the period is anticipated between 40% and 45%.

However, high operating expenses and debt levels remain concerns. Declining automotive volumes due to sluggish vehicle production in the United States is also worrisome.

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

Shares of Twenty-First Century Fox have increased +76.4% over the last year, outperforming the Zacks Film and Television industry, which has gained +58.5% over the same period. The Zacks analyst thinks Twenty-First Century Fox continues to benefit from rise in retransmission and robust advertising demand for its live content and entertainment products.

The company is now rumored to bid higher for the remaining 61% stake in Europe’s leading pay-TV broadcaster Sky plc to counter Comcast's aggressive bid. Further, the ongoing tussle between Disney and Comcast over Fox’s assets bodes well for investors.

Although Disney’s latest bid is beneficial for shareholders, Comcast is highly anticipated to raise its all-cash bid, providing better returns to investors. However, increasing cable networking programming cost is a headwind.

(You can read the full research report on Twenty-First Century Fox here >>>).

Strong Buy-ranked BP’s shares are up +35.7% over the last year, outperforming the Zacks International Integrated Oil industry (up +23.7%). The integrated energy company has been gaining on the back of a strong portfolio of upstream projects.

Since 2016, BP has placed 15 key upstream projects online, including Atoll Phase 1 & Shah Deniz 2. All those developments are backing the British energy giant to boost production by 900 thousand barrel of oil equivalent per day (MBOE/D) by 2021.

Moreover, the company has a strong commitment in returning cash back to the shareholders through share buybacks and dividend payments. BP pays lucrative dividend yield as the current yield of 5.1% is significantly higher than S&P 500’s 1.8%. In fact, over the past few years, the company has been persistently paying higher dividend yield than S&P 500.

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

Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Mondelez and TOTAL.

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



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