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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Petrobras, Enterprise Products, Marsh & McLennan, Carnival and Valero

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL –August 31, 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: Petrobras (PBR - Free Report) , Enterprise Products Partners (EPD - Free Report) , Marsh & McLennan (MMC - Free Report) , Carnival (CCL - Free Report) and Valero Energy (VLO - Free Report) .

Here are highlights from Thursday’s Analyst Blog:

Top Analyst Reports for Petrobras, Enterprise Products and Marsh & McLellan

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 Petrobras, Enterprise Products Partners and Marsh & McLennan. These research reports have been hand-picked from the roughly 70 reports published by our analyst team today.

Shares of buy-rated Petrobras have underperformed the Zacks Emerging Markets Integrated Oil industry over the last three months, declining -9.3% vs. -0.6%. However, with higher oil prices helping the state-run energy giant report a jump in second-quarter profits, the stock should return to favor.

Brazil's flagship oil company’s net quarterly profit of $2,794 million was the highest since 2011. The company also dished out a strong free cash flow performance that reflected operational improvement and lower investments.

Importantly, Petrobras has been able to trim its massive debt load. As it is, the company stands to benefit from Brazil’s economic growth and huge pre-salt oil reserves. Consequently, Petrobras offers substantial upside potential from the current price levels and is a preferred emerging market energy play to own now.

Enterprise Products’ shares have gained +14.3% over the last six months, even as the Zacks Oil Production Pipeline MLP industry advanced by +13.1%. The partnership boasts of an extensive network of pipeline that spreads across 50,000 miles.

Importantly, the pipeline network is connected to every major U.S. shale play and provides services to producers and users of commodities by transporting gas, liquids and refined products. Almost 80% of the Enterprise Products’ pipeline contracts with shippers have been extended for 15 to 20 years, which should help the partnership generate steady cashflow for unit holders.

The partnership recently reported strong second-quarter 2018 earnings. However, rising operating expenses has been affecting the partnership’s bottom-line. Moreover, the partnership has significant exposure to debt, which is a serious concern.

Shares of Marsh & McLennan have outperformed the Zacks Insurance Broker industry in the last year, gaining (+8.3% vs. +7.6%). The company is well-poised to grow on the back of significant investments and acquisitions made within its different operating units. These deals have enabled the company to expand within the existing presence, foray into new businesses and also develop new segments.

The company will see growth in the middle and small commercial areas. It has some plans to enhance its geographic footprint as well. Its ongoing investments are likely to boost its margins. However, high costs and low investment income remain headwinds for the company.

Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Carnival and Valero Energy.

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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.

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