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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Pfizer, Cisco, Southern, SunTrust Banks and AmerisourceBergen

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – November 19, 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 Pfizer (PFE - Free Report) , Cisco (CSCO - Free Report) , Southern Company (SO - Free Report) , SunTrust Banks (STI - Free Report) and AmerisourceBergen (ABC - Free Report) .

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Here are highlights from Friday’s Analyst Blog:

Top Research Reports for Pfizer, Cisco and Southern Company

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 Pfizer, Cisco and Southern Company. 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 >>>

Pfizer’s shares have outperformed its peer group year-to-date (the stock is up +19.2% over this period vs. a +7.2% increase for the Zacks Large-Cap Pharmaceuticals industry). Pfizer beat estimates for earnings while matching the same for in the third quarter.

Pfizer is facing top-line headwinds in the form of genericization of key drugs, supply challenges in the legacy Hospira portfolio, pricing pressure and rising competition. Nevertheless, the Zacks analyst thinks new products like Ibrance, cost-cutting efforts, a lower tax rate and share buybacks can support bottom-line growth. 

Pfizer also boasts a strong pipeline and looks well positioned to deliver several potential new breakthrough innovative medicines in the next five years, which can drive long-term growth. Bavencio, though currently approved for two small indications, is being considered a key long-term growth driver for Pfizer if it can gain label expansion approvals. Pfizer also recently gained FDA approval for three new cancer medicines, which can boost oncology sales.

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

Shares of Cisco have outperformed the Zacks Computer Networking industry over the past year, gaining +30.3% vs. +27.7%. Cisco reported stellar first-quarter results. The Zacks analyst thinks the company is benefitting from expanding footprint in the rapidly growing security market, which represents a significant growth opportunity.

Strong contribution from security, Infrastructure Platforms and applications is a positive. Order strength and improving traction of the subscription-based model are other tailwinds. Strengthening collaboration portfolio which now includes Webex Teams and Accompany bodes well. Partnerships with Telenor, Apple, IBM, Microsoft and Google Cloud are notable.

Further, Duo Security buyout should help the company expand its IT and data security businesses. However, weakness in switching and routing is a headwind. Arista’s intention of manufacturing switches that connect campus networks is likely to hurt Cisco as it holds a dominant position in that market.

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

Southern Company's shares have outperformed the Zacks Electric Power industry over the past six months, gaining +8.2% vs +6.8%. The Zacks analyst thinks Southern Company is one of the largest and best-managed electric utility holding companies in the United States, dominating the power business across the southeastern region.

With good rate base growth and constructive regulation, it is expected to generate steady earnings and dividend growth in the coming years through long-term power contracts. Additionally, SO's $12 billion AGL Resources buy has significantly increased its customer base and diversified offerings. However, continued timing and cost overrun issues over two large construction projects – Vogtle and Kemper – are major overhangs.

While the $25 billion Vogtle nuclear plant has gone well over budget and is years behind schedule, Southern's Kemper project suffered yet another setback with the suspension of all coal gasification operations amid additional cost burden. Hence, Southern Company warrants a cautious stance from the investors.

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

Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include SunTrust Banks and AmerisourceBergen.

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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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