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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Berkshire Hathaway, Coca-Cola, Disney, BHP and Zoetis

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL –September 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: Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B - Free Report) , Coca-Cola (KO - Free Report) , Disney (DIS - Free Report) , BHP Billiton (BHP - Free Report) and Zoetis (ZTS - Free Report) .

Here are highlights from Monday’s Analyst Blog:

Top Analyst Reports for Berkshire-Hathaway, Coca Cola and Disney

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 Berkshire Hathaway, Coca-Cola and Disney. These research reports have been hand-picked from the roughly 70 reports published by our analyst team today.

Buy-ranked Berkshire Hathaway’s shares have outperformed the Zacks Insurance - Property and Casualty industry over the past year (+20.3% vs. +16.9%). The Zacks analyst thinks Berkshire Hathaway’s inorganic growth story remains impressive with strategic acquisitions. A strong cash position allows it to make earnings-accretive bolt-on buyouts. Demand for utilities is expected to rise in the future and drive earnings growth.

Continued insurance business growth also fuels increase in float. A sturdy capital level further adds an impetus to the company. The insurance business generates maximum return on equity but its exposure to catastrophe loss remains a concern. Huge capital expenses due to railroad operations also emerge as headwinds. Capital expenditure is estimated to be $10 billion in 2018.

Shares of Coca-Cola have outperformed the Zacks Soft Drinks Beverages industry in the past year, (-1.7% vs. -6.2%), driven by a solid earnings trend with beat recorded in the last five quarters. The Zacks analyst thinks the company gains from the effective execution of strategies to evolve as a consumer-centric, total beverage company.

Further, the acceleration of its sparkling soft drinks category through investment and innovation bodes well. Though Coca-Cola reported top and bottom line beat in second-quarter 2018, reported revenues and operating margins were hurt by new accounting standards and negative currency.

Going forward, the company expects unfavorable currency to hurt both revenues and operating margin in the second half. Further, the company anticipates the Trump administration’s recent tariffs on aluminum to increase the cost of producing soda cans. This along with escalating freight costs and higher in other input costs is likely to result in increased prices for sodas, which should hurt profitability.

Disney’s shares have increased +3.3% year to date, outperforming the Zacks Media Conglomerates industry’s +2.3% gain in that same time period. The Zacks analyst thinks Disney’s top-line will benefit from the impressive line-up of big budget movies slated to be released over the next 18 months. Parks & Resorts segment is also expected to gain from significant visitor growth and increased per capita spending.

The pending acquisition of Fox will boost international presence as well as content portfolio. However, Disney’s ongoing investments on its technology platform are expected to keep margins under pressure. Additionally, higher programming costs at ESPN remains a concern. Moreover, weakness in the Consumer Products & Interactive Media segment is a headwind.

Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include BHP Billiton and Zoetis.

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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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