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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Amgen, Intercontinental Exchange, TOTAL S.A., Royal Dutch Shell and Williams

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – November 7, 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 includeAmgen (AMGN - Free Report) , Intercontinental Exchange (ICE - Free Report) , TOTAL S.A. (TOT - Free Report) , Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A - Free Report) and Williams (WMB - Free Report) .

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Here are highlights from Tuesday’s Analyst Blog:

Top Analyst Reports for Amgen, Intercontinental and TOTAL SA

The Zacks Research Daily presents the best research output of our analyst team. Today's Research Daily features new research reports on 12 major stocks, including Amgen, Intercontinental Exchange and TOTAL S.A. 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 >>>

Amgen’s shares have gained +9.2% year to date versus the Zacks Biomedical and Genetics industry's decline of -16.6%. Amgen beat expectations for both earnings and sales in the third quarter of 2018 and also raised full-year expectations for both.

The Zacks analyst emphasizes that Amgen’s newer drugs – Prolia, Xgeva, Blincyto, Repatha, Kyprolis – are performing well. Amgen is also progressing with its pipeline and the recent approval of migraine candidate, Aimovig was a huge boost. Amgen has a strong biosimilars pipeline, which could be an important long-term growth driver.

However, Amgen faces challenges related to more mature products such as launch of competing biosimilar versions of Neulasta and Epogen, further sales erosion of Neupogen and Aranesp and increasing competitive pressures on Enbrel. Meanwhile, uptake of key new drug, Repatha has been slow due to payer restrictions and the recent price cut will hurt sales, going forward.

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

Shares of Buy-rankedIntercontinental Exchange have underperformed the Zacks Securities and Exchanges industry year to date, gaining +10.9% versus +18.8%. Intercontinental Exchange’s third-quarter 2018 earnings beat expectations and also improved year over year on record revenues.

The Zacks analyst thinks Intercontinental Exchange’s successful integration of acquisitions, achievement of cost synergies and reduced debt level poise the company for long-term growth. Moreover, a continued strength in its energy franchise, improving recurring market data revenues and ongoing initiatives should keep growth on track.

However, rising expenses, foreign currency fluctuations and stricter regulations raise concerns. The company estimates 2018 operating expenses in the range of $2.04-$2.05 billion and adjusted operating expense in the band of $2-$2.04 billion. Interest expenses are anticipated at $73 million for fourth-quarter 2018.

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

TOTAL S.A.’s shares have gained +5.8% year to date, outperforming the Zacks Integrated International Oil industry which has declined -1.5% over the same period. The company’s earnings and revenues in the last reported quarter surpassed expectations, courtesy of improvement in commodity prices, as well as strong contribution from new upstream projects.

In addition, strategic acquisitions strengthened its portfolio and helped expand its operations. The Zacks analyst thinks the company is utilizing its strong cash-flow generating capacity to strengthen balance sheet and repurchase outstanding shares, which is positively impacting earnings.

However, operations in some politically-troubled regions and increasing competition could impact the company’s profitability. Due to its global presence, it is also exposed to risks associated with doing business abroad.

(You can read the full research report on TOTAL S.A. here >>>).

Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Royal Dutch Shell and Williams.

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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.

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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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