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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Comcast, United Technologies, Biogen, Mondelez and Valero

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL –August 1, 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: Comcast (CMCSA - Free Report) , United Technologies (UTX - Free Report) , Biogen (BIIB - Free Report) , Mondelez (MDLZ - Free Report) and Valero (VLO - Free Report) .

Here are highlights from Tuesday’s Analyst Blog:

Top Analyst Reports for Comcast, United Technologies and Biogen

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

Buy-rankedComcast’s shares have outperformed the Zacks Cable Television industry year to date, losing -11.4% vs. -14.3%. Comcast’s second-quarter results benefited from solid growth in the number of residential high-speed Internet customers. Advertising revenues also increased due to higher political advertising.

Moreover, strong adoption of Xfinity Home drove top-line growth. The company expects to continue investments on Theme Parks, which also reported impressive top-line growth in the quarter. The Zacks analyst thinks the nationwide rollout of the DOCSIS 3.1 technology and the completion of the nationwide rollout of Comcast’s wireless services under the Xfinity Mobile brand will boost subscriber base going forward.

Partnerships with the likes of Charter and Netflix are positive. However, the company continues to lose voice and video subscribers due to cord-cutting and stiff competition. Additionally, high debt level is a headwind.

Shares of United Technologies have gained +11.9% in the last year, outperforming the Zacks Diversified Operations industry, which has lost -10% over the same period. The company's second-quarter 2018 adjusted earnings outpaced expectations and came in higher than the year-ago tally of.

The Zacks analyst thinks that going forward, stronger Otis, Climate Control and Security, Pratt & Whitney and Aerospace Systems sales, as well as new innovation investments will likely continue to drive United Technologies’ revenues. On the other hand, higher revenues and cost-cutting measures are expected to boost profitability in the quarters ahead.

However, material cost inflation and a stretched workforce market scenario have been escalating United Technologies' aggregate costs, of late. These issues, along with additional tariff imposition, might continue to inflate the company's expenses, moving ahead.

Buy-rankedBiogen’s shares have outperformed the Zacks Biomedical and Genetics industry year to date (+4% vs. -6%). Biogen beat estimates for both earnings and sales in Q2 and raised its outlook for the year. Biogen has a strong position in the MS market with a wide range of products including Avonex, Tysabri, Tecfidera & Plegridy.

The Zacks analyst likes its efforts to diversify beyond MS to other areas like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson's and stroke, among others. Meanwhile, its newest drug Spinraza has multi-billion dollar potential. Biogen’s efforts to regularly in-license assets to build its pipeline are also encouraging.

Multiple data readouts are expected this year. However, the launch of Ocrevus by Roche is having a negative impact on MS franchise sales in the United States. Also, Spinraza’s slightly moderating trends in the United States is a concern.

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

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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 or information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.



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