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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Merck, Abbott, Lockheed Martin, United Parcel Service and Bank of New York Mellon

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – December 31, 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: Merck (MRK - Free Report) , Abbott (ABT - Free Report) , Lockheed Martin (LMT - Free Report) , United Parcel Service (UPS - Free Report) and Bank of New York Mellon (BK - Free Report) .

Here are highlights from Friday’s Analyst Blog:

Top Analyst Reports for Merck, Abbott and Lockheed Martin

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 Merck, Abbot) and Lockheed Martin. 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-ranked Merck’s shares have gained +33.9% year to date, significantly outperforming the Zacks Large Cap Pharmaceuticals industry, which has gained +2.8% over the same period. The Zacks analyst emphasizes that Merck’s new products like Keytruda, Lynparza and Bridion are contributing meaningfully to the top line.

Keytruda sales are gaining momentum with approval for additional indications, especially in the first-line lung cancer setting as it is the only anti-PD-1 approved in this setting. Animal health and vaccine products are also performing strongly and remain core growth drivers for Merck. Meanwhile, Merck will continue to focus on cost-cutting initiatives to drive the bottom line.

However, generic competition for several drugs and pricing pressure will continue to be overhangs on the top line. Rising competitive pressure on the diabetes franchise and on products like Isentress (HIV), Zepatier (HCV) and Zostavax (vaccine) remains.

Shares of Abbott have lost -4.7% over the past three months, outperforming the Zacks Medical Products industry, which has declined -14.2% over the same period. Increasing currency headwinds to some extent dented the company’s strong international performance in the last reported quarter. Meanwhile, emerging market performance has been promising.

The Zacks analyst is optimistic about the strong and consistent performance by the company’s EPD and Medical Devices segments. The company has been hogging the limelight within Diabetic Care on growth with FreeStyle Libre. Within Structural Heart, worldwide strong uptake of MitraClip improves further following the FDA approval of its upgraded version.

This apart, synergies from Alere consolidation in the form of revenues from Rapid Diagnostics have been driving growth. On the flip side, sluggish Vascular arm continues to dent growth.

Buy-ranked Lockheed Martin’s shares have lost -19.1% over the past one year, underperforming the Zacks Aerospace Defense sector, which has declined -9.1% over the same period. The Zacks analyst emphasizes that Lockheed Martin, being the largest defense contractor in the world, enjoys a strong demand for its high-end military equipment in domestic as well as international markets.

Consequently, strong order growth has been a primary growth driver for this company. Lately, the company has been witnessing strong demand for its equipment, ranging from C-130J aircraft in France and Germany to helicopters in Poland to missile defense systems in the Asia-Pacific, Europe, and Middle East regions.

Its backlog climbed to a record $109 billion, in the third quarter. However, it faces intense competition for its broad portfolio of products and services in both domestic and international markets.

Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include United Parcel Service and Bank of New York Mellon.

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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/performancefor information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.



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