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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Caterpillar, Netflix, Philip Morris International, Altria and Verizon

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – February 15, 2019 – 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:Caterpillar (CAT - Free Report) , Netflix (NFLX - Free Report) and Philip Morris International (PM - Free Report) , Altria (MO - Free Report) and Verizon (VZ - Free Report) .

Here are highlights from Thursday’s Analyst Blog:

Top Analyst Reports for Caterpillar, Netflix and Philip Morris

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 Caterpillar, Netflix and Philip Morris International. 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 >>>

Caterpillar’s shares have outperformed the Zacks Construction and Mining industry in the last six months (0.9% vs. -0.4%). Caterpillar’s fourth-quarter adjusted earnings per share (EPS) and revenues improved on a year-over-year basis driven by continued strength in many of its end markets and incessant focus on cost control. However, it missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate on both counts. 

For 2019, the company anticipates EPS to be $11.75-$12.75, projecting year-over-year growth of 5-14%. Material cost inflation due to the impact of tariffs and increased transportation costs will affect the company's margins. Further, the slowdown in China remains a concern.

Nevertheless, improving demand across most of its other markets, pricing actions and cost cutting efforts will aid results. Additional investments in expanded offerings and services, and digital initiatives like e-commerce will also drive growth.

Shares of Netflix have gained +25.5% over the past year, outperforming the Zacks Broadcast Radio and Television industry’s gain of 6.1% during the same period. Netflix is benefiting from an increasing subscriber base, which is primarily driven by a solid content portfolio. The company will reportedly stream the much-anticipated Breaking Bad movie, before AMC, which reflects growing appeal of the streaming platform.

This is also helping Netflix counter competition from the likes of Hulu, HBO, Amazon Prime video and YouTube. Moreover, partnerships with telcos like Telefonica in Spain, KDDI in Japan, Comcast and T-Mobile in the United States, and Sky in the U.K. and Germany are expected to drive subscriber addition. Notably, Netflix’s decision to raise prices is likely to boost top-line growth and offset increasing marketing expenditure. 

Buy-ranked Philip Morris’ shares have lost -5.2% in the last three months, outperforming the Zacks Tobacco industry's decline of -6.6%. The company is gaining from strong pricing strategies. In fact, favorable pricing has played an important role in boosting revenues for a while. Also, this drove the company’s performance in the fourth quarter of 2018, wherein it delivered the third and the fourth straight quarter of top- and bottom-line surprises, respectively.

The company is also undertaking initiatives to strengthen RRPs, which are rapidly gaining market popularity. In fact, it has introduced new versions of IQOS to capture market share. Additionally, the company provided favorable view for 2019. 

Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Altria and Verizon.

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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 for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

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