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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: United Parcel, Morgan Stanley, CME, Williams and Enbridge

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL –February 20, 2019 – 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: United Parcel Service (UPS - Free Report) , Morgan Stanley (MS - Free Report) , CME Group (CME - Free Report) , Williams Companies (WMB - Free Report) and Enbridge (ENB - Free Report) .

Here are highlights from Tuesday’s Analyst Blog:

Top Research Reports for UPS, Morgan Stanley & CME Group

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 United Parcel Service, Morgan Stanley and CME Group. 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 >>>

United Parcel Service’s shares have outperformed the Zacks Transportation - Air Freight and Cargo industry over the past year, gaining +5.9% vs. -7.5%. The Zacks analyst likes UPS' efforts to reward shareholders through dividends and buybacks. In 2018, the company rewarded shareholders to the tune of $4.2 billion through the aforementioned shareholder-friendly measures.

Continuing its pro-investor approach, in February 2019, UPS increased its quarterly dividend by 5.5% to 96 cents per share. Robust free cash flow generation by UPS supports the possibility of a dividend hike going forward as well. E-commerce growth is an added positive at UPS and it aided the company's fourth-quarter 2018 results similar to the past few quarters.

The company anticipates cross-border e-commerce volume to grow by 28% over the next three years. However, the company's high capital expenditures are limiting bottom-line growth. Trade-war related tensions and high debts pose further challenges to the company.

(You can read the full research report on United Parcel Service here >>>).

Shares of Morgan Stanley have lost -2.5% over the past three months, underperforming the Zacks Investment Banking industry, which has gained +2.1% over the same period. The company possesses an impressive earnings surprise history, having beaten expectations in three of the trailing four quarters.

The Zacks analyst thinks its efforts to strengthen wealth management business (organically and through acquisitions), focus on corporate lending, steady loan growth, higher interest rates and normalized levels of trading activities will likely aid revenues. Also, the company’s steady capital deployment activities reflect a strong balance sheet position.

However, a slowdown in debt originations will hinder underwriting fee income growth. Further, mounting operating expenses is a major near-term concern for the company.

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

CME Group’s shares have underperformed the Zacks Securities and Exchanges industry over the past year, losing -8.7% versus -5.7%. CME Group’s fourth-quarter earnings per share beat estimates and improved year over year. The quarter witnessed increased volatility and higher customer demand for diverse risk management products, which drove strong trading volumes of more than 20 million contracts per day.

The Zacks analyst thinks the company remains well-poised for growth on a strong market position with varied derivative product lines. Efforts to expand and cross sell its core exchange-traded business via new product initiatives and a global reach are positives. It intends to focus more on over-the-counter clearing services on interest rate swaps as well as foreign exchange.

Also, the buyout of Nex Group will help CME Group generate $200 million in run-rate cost synergies, annually, by 2021-end. Also, the company targets 1x debt-to-EBITDA by 2020 end. However, escalating expenses are putting pressure on margins.

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

Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Williams Companies and Enbridge.

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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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