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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Walmart, Pfizer, Adobe, Johnson & Johnson and IBM

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL –December 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: Walmart (WMT - Free Report) , Pfizer (PFE - Free Report) , Adobe (ADBE - Free Report) , Johnson & Johnson (JNJ - Free Report) and IBM (IBM - Free Report) .

Here are highlights from Tuesday’s Analyst Blog:

Top Research Reports for Walmart, Pfizer and Adobe

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 Walmart, Pfizer and Adobe. 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 >>>

Buy-rankedWalmart’s shares have performed nearly in line with the Zacks Supermarkets industry over the past six months (+8.6% vs. +8.7%), due 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 third-quarter fiscal 2019, wherein top and bottom lines improved year over year and the latter marked its third consecutive beat.

Notably, U.S. comps rose for the 17th straight time. E-commerce sales surged, courtesy of strong Walmart.com and online grocery performances. These factors encouraged management to raise view. Walmart is also making efforts to improve its International unit by shifting focus to profitable countries.

However, the company’s investment in Flipkart is expected to dent the bottom line. Further, 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 Pfizer have outperformed its peer group year-to-date (the stock is up +19% over this period vs. a +3% increase for the Zacks Large-Cap Pharmaceuticals industry). The Zacks analyst likes the fact that Pfizer has been working on strengthening its product portfolio through acquisitions and licensing deals.

However, it 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, 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 approved for two small indications currently, 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 four new cancer medicines, which can boost oncology sales.

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

Adobe’s shares have gained +26.4% year to date, outperforming the Zacks Software industry which has increased +13.5% over the same period. The Zacks analyst thinks Adobe’s fiscal fourth-quarter revenues were benefited by contributions from Marketo acquisition and strong demand for its creative products.

However, higher expenses incurred on acquisitions impacted the bottom line. Nevertheless, Adobe is benefiting from growing subscriptions for its cloud application. It has been making great efforts toward establishing its presence in cloud-related software areas such as documents and marketing.

Adobe’s market position, compelling product lines, continued innovation, solid adoption of Creative Cloud and Adobe marketing cloud are major positives. But lower end-market demand and exposure to Europe remain overhangs.

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

Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Johnson & Johnson and IBM.

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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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