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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Walmart, Cognizant, Vale, Church & Dwight and Ball

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – November 8, 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 Walmart (WMT - Free Report) , Cognizant (CTSH - Free Report) , Vale (VALE - Free Report) , Church & Dwight (CHD - Free Report) and Ball Corporation (BLL - Free Report) .

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Here are highlights from Wednesday’s Analyst Blog:

Top Stock Reports for Walmart, Cognizant and Vale

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 Walmart, Cognizant and Vale. 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 >>>

Walmart’s shares have outperformed the Zacks Supermarkets industry over the past three months (+14.7% vs. +13.2%), owing to its focus on strengthening e-commerce and store operations. The Zacks analyst thinks these factors helped the company retain its sturdy comps trend in second-quarter fiscal 2019, wherein earnings and sales grew and beat the consensus mark.

Notably, U.S. comps recorded highest growth in more than 10 years. Further, e-commerce sales surged, courtesy of strong Walmart.com and online grocery performances. These factors encouraged management to raise view. Also, Walmart is making efforts to improve its International unit, by shifting focus to profitable countries. To this end, the company’s investment in Flipkart is however expected to dent the bottom line in the near term.

Transportation costs and a compelling pricing strategy have been hurting Walmart’s gross margin for a while. Nonetheless, the Flipkart deal bodes well for the long term and should help the company stand firm against Amazon.

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

Shares of Cognizant have underperformed the Zacks Business Software Services industry year to date (-2.2% vs. +4.7%). Cognizant’s third-quarter 2018 results benefited from its significant exposure to the fast-growing verticals like financial services and healthcare.

The Zacks analyst thinks the company is benefiting from domain expertise as well as its ability to harness the ongoing digital transition. It is also significantly gaining from accretive acquisitions and aggressive share repurchase.

However, the company faces significant geographic, domain and customer concentration risks. Further, lackluster spending by large banks in the financial services sector and stiff competition in the IT services market remains a concern.

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

Vale’s shares have handily outperformed the Zacks Basic Materials sector over the past year (+49.2% vs. -8%). Vale’s third-quarter 2018 earnings remained flat year over year but beat expectations. Revenues increased around 5% year over year and beat the consensus mark.

Vale expects to meet its full-year 2018 iron ore production guidance of approximately 390 Mt. It also expects to produce iron ore of around 400 Mt for 2019 onwards. The Zacks analyst thinks the company will be able to achieve this target as volumes continue to improve at its S11D mine. Vale will also benefit from its focus on investment in projects like Gelado and Salobo III. Lower debt levels and strong cash generation will also drive growth.

However, Vale's performance will be impacted by rising costs and seasonal factors. Further, exchange-rate fluctuations will hurt Vale's revenues and profitability.

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

Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Church & Dwight and Ball Corporation.

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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.

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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