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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Twitter, TripAdvisor, Costco Wholesale and Chipotle Mexican Grill

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – December 27, 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: Twitter, Inc. (TWTR - Free Report) , TripAdvisor, Inc. (TRIP - Free Report) , Costco Wholesale Corp. (COST - Free Report) and Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (CMG - Free Report) .

Here are highlights from Wednesday’s Analyst Blog:

4 Stocks That Made the Biggest Comebacks in 2018

Stocks have more or less gained in 2018, courtesy of tax reforms, a stronger economy and confident consumers. However, things haven’t been looking up for investors over the past few months. Trade-related issues between the United States and China and a slowdown in the housing market have pushed Wall Street into a bear market, with major indexes remaining in the red for the year.

Things have, in fact, gone from bad to worse as the Trump administration continues to blame the Fed for raising rates too fast, with Trump openly criticizing its chairman, Jerome Powell. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s phone calls to major banks to assess their financial health are doing no good either.

Thanks to the odds, companies like Facebook have lost considerably. General Electric is another company that took beating due to weakness in its power division and major mistakes by former CEO Jeff Immelt. While Facebook is down nearly 32% so far this, General Electric has tanked more than 60% on a year-to-date basis.

But, there are certain companies that have made rather surprising turnarounds and have defied the downside in the broader market. Let us take a look —

Twitter

After several disappointments, Twitter, Inc. — a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) company — has finally emerged as a profit making company. Year to date, the global platform where any user can create a Tweet is up 10.2%, in contrast to the Internet - Software’s decline of 8.7%.

Even though its monthly user numbers have declined, the daily user growth continues to remain solid, up double digits. This, undoubtedly, shows that involvement with the social media site is gradually increasing.

Twitter’s revenues continue to grow and the company has seen four straight quarters of GAAP profits. Trump’s use of the platform to connect to the broader public and an active news scenario is surely working in favor of Twitter. The company has taken enough measures to negate abuses on the platform, something that bodes well for users.

TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor, Inc. — a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) company — seems to have left a bad spell behind. Lest we forget, a failed launch of its Instant Booking platform and lowered monetization rates from mobile instead of desktops have wiped off almost 75% of its stock price.

Now, the travel-recommended engine’s focus on restaurants and other sorts of amusements other than its core hotel segment has worked wonders. Trimmed marketing and advertising expenses have also helped the company double it profits in the most recent quarter.

The stock has outperformed the broader Internet - Commerce industry so far this year (+49.8% vs -13.9%).

Costco

At the beginning of 2018, talk of the “retail apocalypse” was pretty common with many traditional retailers shutting down thousands of stores. Retail heavyweights like Costco Wholesale Corp. — a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company — weren’t spared either. But, by the end of this year, Costco has come up with the best comps and traffic growth in a decade, helping the stock make a stellar comeback. This can be attributed to record Black Friday sales.

Mastercard reported total Black Friday spend (online and offline) of $23 billion, up nearly 9% from last year. It projected a 5% rise in holiday sales from November 1 through Christmas Eve this year from last year.

Costco just ended a fiscal year with a 7.4% rise in U.S. comps. The stock has outperformed the broader Retail - Discount Stores industry so far this year (+2.1% vs -0.2%).

Chipotle Mexican Grill

Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. — a Zacks Rank #3 company — was looking forward to put a rough two-year patch behind while entering 2018. The company that serves a focused menu of burritos, tacos, and burrito bowls and salads was hopeful that the new CEO Brian Niccol will be able to put memories of the E. coli crisis on the back burner, restoring investor confidence.

And Niccol definitely didn’t disappoint. He brought in a flurry of new executives, moved the head office to his hometown, launched an ad campaign focusing on real ingredients and in the process helped Chipotle Mexican Grill post double-digit comparable-store sales growth so far this year. The stock has outperformed the broader Retail - Restaurants industry on a year-to-date basis (+33.5% vs -1.1%).

In addition to the stocks discussed above, would you like to know about our 10 top tickers to buy and hold for the entirety of 2019?

These 10 are painstakingly handpicked from over 4,000 companies covered by the Zacks Rank. They are our primary picks poised to outperform in the year ahead. Be among the first to see the new Zacks Top 10 Stocks >>

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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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